If you’re on the email list, or you’ve even just been following the blog as of late, You’ll likely know that I’m on a bit of a “deep dive” in terms of wanting to learn more about cocoon production (and the important factors of influence).
My primary focus has been on cocoon production in Red Worms, simply because I had (almost) accepted the sad fact that I didn’t have any European Nightcrawlers left.
The last of my Euros had been left in a small system down in my basement – and not only was it very badly neglected, but a Red Worm population also ended up getting established (these two factors do NOT help Euros do well)! By the time I got around to rescuing the system last fall, all the worms were incredibly tiny (basically hatchling size) – and it was very difficult to even tell if there were any Euros left at all.
I thought I might have found one or two, based on their striping, but I really wasn’t sure.
As it turns out, my “rescue system” was a great success – helping the worms bounce back to a fairly “normal” size within 2 to 3 weeks. Once again, I felt like I kept seeing 1 or 2 Euros in the bin – but it was starting to feel like tracking down Big Foot (lol), and I was getting thrown off the trail by plenty fat Red Worms that seemed to be looking more and more like Euros with each passing day.
It was starting to sink in that I might have lost them once and for all (assuming they had existed at all – LOL). But then, thanks to my new obsession with “tiny tub” cocoon production systems, I found TWO Euros while collecting breeders for new tubs just over a week ago.
I wasn’t about to let this opportunity slip through my fingers, so I quickly set up a special tiny tub system just for them – and thus (unofficially) the Euro Two Worm Challenge was born!
I decided to check up on the system today (“Day 9”) just to make sure the worms were OK, and to see if any cocoons had been laid. I was very pleased to find both worms – looking even more like Euros – along with at least 5 or 6 cocoons (very quick scan through – not extensive counting exercise by any means).
This is great news! Euros tend to have a slower reproduction rate than Reds – so having that many cocoons in just over a week (and the two worms looking healthy) makes me a happy camper. 🙂
Unlike some of my Red Worm systems, I definitely want to leave these worms alone as much as possible. So, I may only check on the system every 4-6 weeks – but it should be really interesting to see how fast the population in the yogurt container grows! My hope is to end up with a well-established, thriving population of Euros within 3-6 months (as the population grows I will likey add them to bigger systems so as to support this growth).