types of earthworms and pictures names - equatorial soils

toedenJuly 2, 2008

I would like to go into vermiculture but not sure what worms are suitable. I live in Malaysia and some days ago, collected some 50 worms from the garden: after the rainy days.

What type of worms are they and do they breed fast and suitable for vermiculture/compost?

Can anyone help in providing pictures of types of worms, names of the worms and other data pertaining to its type.


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Wow, I don't even know what kind of worms you might have in Malaysia. You could try to look them up on the internet and see if you can identify them. I live in Texas and when I first got into worming, I tried using common earthworms that I dug up, but they wouldn't breed and most of them just died in my bin. It was really sad and fairly gooey.

Then I started researching different worms for composting and reading all the FAQs in this forum about bedding and feeding and stuff, and I started all over with red wigglers. I've had a lot of success with purchased worms, getting good castings and making lots of new little red wigglers.

But I think if you set up your bin and feed your worms the stuff they like to eat, you might just be successful and if you are, you should let us know. I would be open to trying a different kind of worm if it's good at making castings.

I found out on this forum that the icky little maggot-looking-things in my worm bins are actually black soldier fly larvae. After I found that out I stopped tossing them out of the bin and squashing them. There's a lot to learn here, and a big part of that learning is sharing your own experiences. Cheryl

    Bookmark   July 2, 2008 at 12:44PM
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Eden, I'm in Hawaii and we may have the same kind. They're called perionyx excavatus and the common names include Indian Blues and Malaysian Blues. If they are the kind that hang out under the leaf litter, but don't go very far down in the soil, then you're got the right kind. (Epigeic worms. The endogic kind - the ones that dig down deep - don't do the composting as well.)

Here's a site from Vietnam describing them - http://www.earthwormvietnam.com/English_files/about_perionyx_excavatus.htm
They say "Perionyx excavatus is a beautiful worm with an iridescent blue or violet sheen to its skin clearly visible under bright light. It is a very small worm, poorly suited as fishing bait, but has an impressive growth and reproductive rate far in excess of the other species grown in bin culture." It's not used more commonly in the mainland US because it doesn't tolerate cold well and would die in the winter. One comercial worm farmer in southern California, where it doesn't get as cold, says that PE is superior in speed of composting and breeding. If you want, I can try and find the reference. Google perionyx excavatus and click on 'images' for lots of photos. A good intro is at www.hawaiirainbowworms.com/C-perionyx.html

Let us know how things turn out! I started with 1 oz (28g) about 9 months ago and now have well over a pound (2kg). Even just a handful would multiply to a respectable number in about 3-4 months. I bought mine, but I've been thinking of going in to the forest and seeing what I can find after a rain. I'll probably get to it in the next few weeks. I'll let you know what I find.

Are any of our Southern US or tropical country friends using PE?

    Bookmark   July 3, 2008 at 12:55AM
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