Manure Worm, Compost Worm
Eisenia fetida (Savigny) (Lumbricidae)
- Body cylindrical, 35-130 x 3-5 mm
- Color purple, red, dark red, brownish red. There are unicolored forms and forms that have alternating bands of red-brown on dorsum with pigmentless yellow intersegmental areas.
- Epigeic habit; detritivorous; very little soil consumed
- Principal earthworm for composting kitchen wastes, animal manures, etc.
- Live a maximum of 4-5 years, 1-2 more frequent
- Reproduce sexually, up to about 900 eggs per year per worm
- Little tendency to burrow into mineral soil
Compost worm (Eisenia fetida) is an important organism for the reduction of urban and animal wastes. It also serves as fish bait. Photographs by Suzanne Paisley.