Half of a pound of Red Wigglers
Selling 1/2 pound of composting red wiggler worms for $45.00
Red wigglers are a resilient composting worm, tolerant of a wider range of temperature than other species. For instance, its larger cousin, the European Nightcrawler prefers cooler temperatures in the high-60°F range. African Nightcrawlers, on the other hand, prefer warmer temperatures between 77°F and 86°F.
The red wiggler can tolerate both the low and high ends of these ranges, reproducing and processing organic waste well between 55°F-90°F.
Its cocoons are famously hardy as well, able to withstand prolonged freezing temperatures, staying viable in a suspended state until they are able to hatch in warmer weather.
The mighty red wiggler may be used as a bait worm for smaller fish or as a protein source for chickens and reptiles.
But its main use is for – of course – vermicomposting.
And as mentioned above, they are the most common composting worm in the world.
Well there's probably not just one reason.
Rather, a combination of cost, hardiness, and comfort in a wide range of temperatures makes it the most appropriate composting worm for most new vermicomposters
The anatomy of a red wiggler resembles that of other common earthworms; a long-segmented body begins at the pointed head and terminates at a slightly-flatted tail.
A fleshy band called a clitellum features prominently on the body of the red wiggler at roughly 1/3rd of the length of the worm.
The digestive tract is simple, starting at the mouth where the worm begins to consume its food before passing it on to the pharynx.
The pharynx is a muscular section which acts like a pump to pull food into the mouth before pumping it out into the esophagus.
The esophagus is narrow and thin-walled and acts as the “waiting room” for the gizzard.
The gizzard is the area where the food gets crushed and ground down before moving on.
Note: This need for grinding is why grit is recommended in a worm bin. The worm features no native grinding capability so the worm relies on ingested grit to help grind its food in the gizzard.
The stomach is where the first chemical breakdown of food happens with the help of a protein-busting enzyme. Calciferous glands in the stomach also serve to neutralize acidic foods passing through the worm's digestive tract.
The intestine forms the longest part of the worm and is where the majority of digestion takes place via enymatic processes.
The castings eventually pass through the anus at the end of the worm as capsules coated with a biologically-rich mucus. (You're not eating I hope.)
Red wigglers, like all earthworms, are hermaphroditic, simultaneously possessing both male and female sex organs, both of which are used in the reproduction process.
Two worms of the same species will intertwine around each other's clitella, secreting sperm through their skin, eventually producing a cocoon. This cocoon will normally yield 3 worms and each pair of worms will produce 1-3 cocoons per week.
This lemon-shaped cocoon is about 1/8th inch wide, and starts as a yellowish color. It gets progressively darker until it hatches 21 days later.
Within 42 days, these baby worms will reach sexual maturity as evidenced by the emergence of the clitellum.A mature red wiggler can be expected to live between one to three years.