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Eisenia fetida... or not?

 
Posts: 71
Location: Poland
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Sorry for the creepy photo. They're just not cute models, although I tried to make them look pretty!
They live indoors in a large bucket and they are meant to improve soil for plants in pots.
I bought them twice from two different sellers, and they were different each time. First were smaller and more reddish, the next were larger and more pale. Seems like there is a yet another variety in my garden, different from both. So, now I'm in doubt, if these are Eisenia Fetida or not.
IMG_20200118_182231_952.jpg
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They...
 
pollinator
Posts: 252
Location: The Arkansas Ozarks
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Hi Flora,

The two on the lower part of the photograph look most similar to my Eisenia Fetida. The top ones are particularly blue tinged although they do not look like the blue worms I have which are much longer and thinner.  I hope this is helpful, but I do not claim to be an expert.

As for tips to growing worms, make sure they get plenty of air in their medium to help prevent worm die out.  I added 'chimneys' to the middle of all my worm bins.  I made them out of a roughly 7" by 12" piece of 1/2" hardware cloth formed into a 12"long by 2" diameter tube and covered with a sock.  I then insert it into the middle of the bin all the way to the bottom of the bin to get air throughout the bin.  Seems to be working famously for the past month or so.

Sincerely,

Ralph
 
Flora Eerschay
Posts: 71
Location: Poland
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Thanks! I thought the upper three look darker because they have more food inside (soil). I like the 'chimneys' idea! I once killed almost entire colony, but now they've recovered. It was too wet when they died.
 
Flora Eerschay
Posts: 71
Location: Poland
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Sorry for grossing up again... This time I put a ruler next to them for a scale, and I gave them an apple because they didn't want to untangle. Positive reinforcement!
Now they look more like eisenia fetida to me... At least I can see the stripes.
IMG_20200125_142159.jpg
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Posts: 339
Location: West Midlands UK (zone 8b) Rainfall 26"
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They look like eager little compost worms to me.  
 
gardener
Posts: 2414
Location: Fraser River Headwaters, Zone3, Lat: 53N, Altitude 2750', Boreal/Temperate Rainforest-transition
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If they are doing the job, I'm not sure if it matters which variety or varieties you have.  

I love worms!  There, I said it.  They are neither gross nor creepy, so definitely no need to apologise to me.  I have at least three varieties in my garden.  I have no idea what species they are at this point (particularly at this point because the ground is deeply frozen), but I'd love to find out someday.  
 
Ralph Kettell
pollinator
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Location: The Arkansas Ozarks
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Hi Flora,

They are a lot healthier looking in this photo.  Definitely red wigglers (Eisenia Fetida)  and very mature ones.  They are almost starting to look like the length of small to medium European Nightcrawlers, but they are not as fat as the Europeans.  

Good luck with your worms, and please stop worrying about grossing us out.  LOL.

Sincerely,

Ralph
 
pollinator
Posts: 127
Location: WNC 6b
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Hi, there does seem to be several worms on the market for composting. Here’s a link that may help explain the differences. https://www.naturewatch.ca/wormwatch/how-to-guide/identifying-earthworms/
Hope you have a wormderful day.
 
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