50 Cocoon Challenge – Update #2

Decomposition continues in the 50 cocoon challenge bin

Here we are, another couple of weeks since my last 50 Cocoon Challenge update, so I figured I had better sneak a peek in the bin (actually did so yesterday) to see what’s going on.

It certainly looks as though the contents of the bin have continued to decompose nicely, with fungi still playing a pretty major role in the process.

Worm Bin Fungi
What was once paper towel is now home to bizarre fungi

While I wasn’t greeted by a thick cloud of gnats when I opened the bin (like last time), they are certainly still there. As you can see in the next picture, the tiny mites are still there as well

Lots of Worm Bin Mites
Loads of tiny mites still coat the lid of the 50 Cocoon bin

Of course, the big question on everyone’s mind is whether or not there are worms yet. I’m happy to report that I did in fact find quite a few baby worms! Interestingly enough, I wasn’t actually able to locate ANY cocoons – this is not to say they’ve all hatched, but my guess is that a fair number have.

The biggest worm I found was probably about 1 inch in length, and there seemed to be a fairly wide range of sizes between this and the ‘newborn’ stage. The really small ones are still quite difficult to spot, so I suspect it will take some time before I can get a better idea of how many worms are now in the system.

Baby Red Worms - Yeah!
Baby worms! Whoohoo!

I’m really excited that we now have worms, and can’t wait to see how quickly they develop into adults. On that note, I suspect I’ll need to monitor the bin a lot more frequently now just to make sure I know when the first worm matures.

Stay tuned!

Previous 50 Cocoon Challenge Posts
The 50 Cocoon Challenge
50 Cocoon Challenge – Update #1

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  1. Hey Bentley,
    It looks like another successful experiment. I have a question though. I see many baby worms in my bins too, many around an inch in length and those are obviously juvenile reds. My question is, do you have any close up pics of the REALLY small ones? I see some tiny (12 mm or half inch) ones but I’m still not sure if they’re reds or not. Some sites say they are born pink, but these look like white beard hairs. Since I don’t see any longer white worms, I’m hoping that they’re newborns that just haven’t got any thickness yet to show color. I have plenty of mites and they don’t hurt anything, but what is your take?

    • Bentley
    • June 26, 2009

    Hi Al,
    Are these small worms translucent or are they really white? If you look just right of the worm in the pic above you can see what I THINK might be a hatchling worm. It looks a little like a fungus gnat larvae as well, but seems a tad long and I can’t spot the tiny black head.

  2. OK, I got up close and personal with my early bin and took as close a picture as I could. I uploaded it to http://www.wormiculture.com/images/62609a.jpg for other opinions. It’s a VERY large picture to show detail, so be forewarned. I marked the areas in question. Use the grain of rice as a measurement comparison. The rice was added to two bins as another “experiment”. It’s dry and uncooked, and I’m hoping that it will soften and expand into food after a while. With the recent rains, everything is very wet.

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