Other common names: Red Worm; Red Marsh Worm; Blood Worm
Scientific name: Lumbricus rubellus
Lumbricus rubellus is a species of earthworm which is very similar to the Common Earthworm (Lumbricus terrestris).
Lumbricus rubellus is an important composting worm and is also used as fish bait. Earthworms can consume most kinds of organic matter and they can eat their own body weight per day. The excreta (castings) of the worms are rich in nitrate, available forms of P, K, Ca and Mg.
Appearance / health:
It is usually reddish brown or reddish violet, iridescent dorsally, and pale yellow ventrally. They are usually about 1 to 4 inches (25 to 105 mm) in length, with around 95-120 segments.
good rich soil, table scraps
local fisherman, worms kitchen compost, young red wigglers
My mother decided when I was about 6 years old to raise red earthworms to sell to local fisherman. We took an old refrigerator/freezer, removed the door, and loaded it with a good rich soil. We bought our young red wigglers and put them in the box. Every day we turned the soil to make sure it stayed aerated and fed the worms kitchen compost. The worms grew very fast and started reproducing quickly. We used the freezer part of the fridge to sort out our biggest reds to sell. Eventually we had to incorporate a couple of other boxes to continue raising them. It was a lot of fun to learn about them, and even as a child I enjoyed helping "feed" them and sort them. This is a fun venture that anyone can do, even on a deck, providing there is good soil, holes in the bottom of the box, or a cover to keep the rain from filling the box and drowning the worms. We also had to keep the soil moist, but not wet. We would dampen the soil, turn it and dampen it again. Then we placed small flat pieces of board on top to hold in the moisture. The boards did NOT cover the entire dirt surface. The worms like to burrow close to the wood. I recommend them for all ages under adult supervision!.
From Heartsong2013 Mar 17 2013 8:08AM
My Red Worms - Practical and easy to care for
These make great useful pets! I use mine for composting and food for other animals. They are extremely easy to care for, although hardly affectionate. If you are looking for a pet to hold and hug on, clearly this species is probably not the best choice for you; but they do a good job of composting anyway..
The nice thing about these worms is they only eat table scraps and garbage, so you are not going to spend money maintaining them. Put them in a bin, keep them moist and shaded, they should really flourish..
From Brooktro May 19 2014 6:09PM