Posts Tagged ‘european nightcrawler’
Here are some images I would like to share of cocoons, baby worms and pot worms. Pot Worms, also known as white worms, and are similiar in size to baby red worms. Pot worms are just one of many small creatures that are commonly found in worm bins. The presence of pot worms may indicate that the PH of your bin is decreasing and becoming acidic. You may also spot them if you have added any acidic foods to your worm bin. If you have an abundance of these worms in your bin it could also be an indication that your worms are being overfeed. Overfeeding results in acidic conditions in a worm bin. Pot worms are NOT harmful to your red worms in any way although they may compete with your worms for food. Baby red worms are distinquished by red blood vessels visible in their squirmy little bodies. Here are a few images of both types of worms to help you determine if what you may be seeing in the bin are pot worms or babies.
Here are some close up images of European Nightcrawler Cocoons. One cocoon can hatch between 2 and 20 worms (the average being 2-4 worms) The older a worm is when it produces a cocoon, the higher the chance of hatching more babies per egg case. When a cocoon is first produced it is a pale yellow almost transulant color. As it begins to age and the worms get closer to hatching, the cocoon darkens to a brown color. Newer cocoons are easier to spot in a heap of castings than the mature ones. These next images are of European Nightcrawler cocoons at different stages.
Although their smaller composting cousins, the Red Wigglers, are a well known composting bin worm, the European Nightcrawlers are a close competitor. They are great composters, stay put in their bins, and are about the size of a gummy worm. Perfect for people who love to fish and garden. They work great in our stacking worm bins and migrate upward just like the Red Wigglers. They like their soil a little moister than the Red Wigglers and are not quite as prolific. Red Wigglers and Europeans can also coexit peacfuly in a bin since they have the similiar characteristics.
European Nightcrawlers (Eisenia hortensis) are also known as the Belgian Worm, Super Red, Carolina Crawlers, Giant Redworm, ENC’s and Blue Worms. European Nightcrawlers grow to be 3-8 inches long, and look like very large, fat red wigglers. When they are not stretched out, they are as thick as a pencil. European Nightcrawlers can tolerate temperatures as low as 45° F., however, they are most active between 60° and 70° F. They are also known to be prolific breeders so their numbers can increase rapidly. The ENC’s are quickly becoming the ideal bait worm. They are a very tough worm that can be used successfully in salt water. They have also been used for ice fishing in the most frigid waters of Northwestern British columbia and have been found to be still active on the hook after 30 minutes in the freezing cold water. Nightcrawlers are also used in exotic pet markets as food for birds, fish, koi, turtles and other reptilians.