What species are my worms?

beeseeNovember 23, 2009

I live in Oregon and I am very confused. Here is my story.

I got a pound of worms from a vendor A I found in craiglist. I visited his worm farm, outdoor manure pile. He explained the difference between regular worms and red wigglers because I asked him. ( I knew nothing about worms at that time. ) In essence, red wigglers he got were red, small, and has YELLOW tip. I was thankful to learn all these, came home, put them in a large tote with holes on top and the side, but not on the bottom. Then I made a trip to Europe for 3 weeks. During this time, my son poured a large panful of salty spicy soup into the bin. When I came back, the bin looked soupy with the most obnoxious, horrible smell but about 20 worms kept themselves from drowing, surviving with moldy stuff on the very top of the bin.

So, I found vendor B through craiglist. He charges less and his place is far closer to my home and he said he's been selling worms for 5 years. He had three big worm tubs made out of fiberglass with thermometer control. His worms originally came from Kentucky, he said. I was very impressed with his place.

I was again dumb and happy to get a pound of worms from him. This new bin has vendor B's 1 lbs worms and 20 or so worms that I rescured from this soupy bin.

Well, unfortunately my confusion started from this point.

Vendor B's worms were slightly larger, redder ( dark red vs. light red from Vendor A ) AND boy, they wiggle. AND these worms have no yellow tip at the end of their body.

So, I sort of ignored them, giving very little food/attention, if anything, and put them in the corner of the garage.

Somehow I felt I didn't buy true Eisenia Foetida from vendor B.

Two weeks later I set up a new bin, and got another pound from vendor A.

Vendor A's worms are smaller in general, sort of light red, and have yellow tip at the end.

I decided the vendor A's worms would be my pet worms. :) I looked at them, loved them, fed them, poked at the bin.

But some were dying.

Now I know it was OVERFEEDING syndrome.

To make a long story short, I managed to save 50% of the vendor A's worms this time.

Somehow this hobby became almost obsession after witnessing dying worms, I spent hours upon hours daily to learn about worms.

So, here are my questions.

Remember the worms from vendor B, deep red-colored ones? They are still very active.

But what species of red worms do I have from vendor B?

I know they are not EHs. They are too small to be EHs. They are definitely not regular nightcrawlers. They are not tiger worms.

After careful examination, I learned that

Vendor A's worms are primarily 2 to 3 inches long with some sort of yellow tip at the end and kind of red. I concluded they are true EFs.

Vendor B's worms are thin and primarily 3 to 4 inches long, dark red color from head to tail. They look a lot like any red wiggler pictures on the web but I am not sure.

Do all the EFs have yellow tip at the end? I thought the only other EF variety is tiger worms. If so, what do I have?

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I like to add one more comment. After it rains here, I went out to look at the earthworms that came to the surface of the soil. These large non-red-wiggler worms are sort of pale looking ( meaning not red ). But they all have very distinctive yellow tip at the end.

I guess what I am trying to say is "having yellow tip at the end" doesn't mean that they are EFs.

    Bookmark   November 24, 2009 at 9:09AM
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I have at least 4 types of worms in my boxes, in different amounts and different percentages or ratios to each other. They all get along well with each other (no civil disobedience that I'm aware of), and each type of worm seems to locate a "friend" so everybody is happy. They do what all compost worms do even if each type of worm has a special talent or skill. They all make poo and babies, just at different speeds. Not a problem with me.
One pound of worms will make 5 gallons of poo and 2.5 pounds of worms in 3 months. Like clockwork.
If it still matters what type of worms you have, post some pics and the experts will be glad to research and solve this mystery for you. Have fun with them worms. steamyb

    Bookmark   November 24, 2009 at 9:59AM
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