Who are these guys?

rystheguy(8)August 12, 2014

Hi everyone. I'm relatively new to vermicomposting, and a lot of what I know has come from posts on this forum, so I appreciate this helpful community.

I have a few photos of things I've found in my bin and am hoping someone can help me identify them.

These first 2 photos show some strange white balls that appeared on the sides of the bin. They weren't there in the morning but were there after lunch. There were hundreds of them and they were quite small, maybe a millimeter or 2. They started white, but as you can see in the second photo, they turned black after only a couple of hours. They disappeared pretty soon after that.



This next photo is of a bunch of tiny white worm-like things. I'm wondering if they are baby red wigglers, or pot worms or something else. There are hundreds of them and seemed to appear out of nowhere. They're less than a millimeter thick and only half a centimeter long at most. I've read that baby red wigglers are usually pinkish so I'm assuming these aren't those.


The last 2 pictures are of a grub that's so ugly it's kind of cute. It's very fat, as you can see compared to the worm behind it, and probably about 2 cm long. It moves pretty quickly and seems to really dislike being in the light.



If anyone could shed some light on what these things are I'd really appreciate it.

Thanks in advance!

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a Google image search suggest the grub could be a chafer beetle grub. I like to put them in a bug jar and see what they become (when they survive).

    Bookmark   August 12, 2014 at 9:18PM
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The only thing that I "might" be able to help you out with are the pot worms. That's what they are. Your bin is too wet, if you're attracting pot worms, if I remember correctly.

Black Soldier Fly Larvae (BSFL) are grub like things. They are voracious eaters, and will eat more of the food to the point where your worms will starve. Having said that I don't know if that's what you have or not, with that little fat guy.

Is your bin outside? I hope so, if you're getting those extra creatures in your bin.

Mine are all inside and the only other inhabitants I get, besides my worms are mites, once in a while.

    Bookmark   August 13, 2014 at 10:20AM
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Haven't a clue what 1 and 2 are. 3 is "pot worms". No worry about them. Most folks want to get rid of them, but they do not harm the composting worms, so I don't worry about them. No clue what 4 and 5 are. Great pics!

Sorry I couldn't be of more help.


    Bookmark   August 17, 2014 at 4:50AM
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Thanks for the help, everyone!

I think I was able to identify the grub in image 4 and 5 using the PDF I've linked to at the end of this post. It's pretty easy to see the grub's raster and anal slit in the full-res version of photo #5. Looks like it could be a Japanese Beetle Larva.

My bin is indeed outdoors, otherwise I'd be quite worried about all the stuff I've been finding. I think the bin's moisture level is okay, and I'm finding fewer pot worms now but I don't mind having them around.

Here is a link that might be useful: White Grub Identification PDF

    Bookmark   August 21, 2014 at 9:02AM
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The first photo looks like a slime mold to me, but on my quick search to help you, now I'm wondering if it might be more accurately described as an imperfect fungi ? Probably easier for you to figure out what with being able to see it better. The dog vomit slime mold gets all the attention, but there are many other forms of slime mold.

Either way, not harmful and nothing you can do about it anyway. Some folks are too grossed out, but lots of us find them terribly interesting. My dog vomit slime mold has decided to stay in my garden and show itself each early summer. It's now just part of the expected changing seasons.

Here's some fun for you.

Here is a link that might be useful: http://waynesword.palomar.edu/trmar99.htm

This post was edited by plaidbird on Tue, Aug 26, 14 at 22:00

    Bookmark   August 26, 2014 at 9:42PM
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Thanks for the info, plaidbird. I agree that it looks like that may be the imperfect fungi. It has disappeared from my bin so I suppose I may never know. It's sure interesting to poke around in there now and then, always something new going on.

    Bookmark   August 28, 2014 at 3:46AM
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