Kinda felt like taking some worm photos today, and thought I would make a blog post out of it. My first image is a close-up shot of a group of European Nightcrawlers (Eisenia hortensis). I haven’t written much about my Euro bin in quite some time, so they certainly deserve some time in the limelight!
I hope to chat more about Euros in upcoming posts – I’m actually planning to test out Euro growth/reproduction, to see how it compares with that of Red Worms.
Looking at a shot with only Euros in it doesn’t really tell you how big they are in comparison to Reds, so I included a look from further out (same photo, but now including a group of Reds beside the Euros)
As you can see, these Red Worms have a striping pattern (similar to the Euros). Many of my Reds don’t have this, and look more like the photo below. The worms in the lower photo are actually smaller than the striped ones. I’m always amazed by the differences in appearance from one population of Red Worms to the next. I once believed that Reds living in manure tended to become larger and striped, but neither the ‘wild’ manure worms I was given this past spring, or those in the picture below (which were raised in manure) seem to have any striping.
I’m wondering if perhaps the smaller darker worms might be the very close relative of Eisenia fetida, Eisenia andrei. I’ve read that many Red Worm populations are actually a mixture of these two species (seem to recall that E. andrei tends to be smaller). That being said, I’ve also read that they can only be distinguished from one another reliably via molecular analysis, so I’m not really sure.
Anyway, they are all good composting worms – and that’s what counts!
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