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Eisenia andrei

Website: http://vermicomposting.nl
Location: The Netherlands
Members: 32
Latest Activity: Jun 16

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If the two tigers breed sterile! 3 Replies

Started by Christopher John White. Last reply by Ar-Pharazon Aug 22, 2013.

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Comment by John Harrison on November 9, 2010 at 10:49am
I don't want Larry to get lonely here ;-)
And I'm pretty sure I've got both.
Comment by Ar-Pharazon on November 10, 2010 at 7:50pm
I'm in... as far as I can tell they're all E. andrei. I've never seen the really obvious tiger-striped kind seen in some photos. Go EA!
Comment by Ar-Pharazon on November 11, 2010 at 10:59am
Ok, I'm taking a stand... I say they're all EA. They all look the same. The front half always looks like red-on-red to me. Subtle stripes.
Comment by Ar-Pharazon on November 11, 2010 at 2:39pm
Hehe. The one Amy took a picture of had some really crazy stripes. The one in the German EF picture wasn't that exaggerated, but still had nice stripes that kind of mesmerize my eye. To me, they look like EH stripes (that I've seen in pictures; I don't have EH).
Comment by synelg on March 19, 2011 at 3:41am

Fascinating.   Been reading all evening about this, as I found more of what I think are andrei in the compost bin at my horse paddock.   A few days ago I added a few kg of UCG to the top of this bin and now there are a handful of these worms there.  I was getting some feed for my bins at home when I disturbed them - found myself apologising for disturbing them, put them back, watered the bin and covered with hay.  Hope they increase.   They were very beautiful.  Deep red, no pale tiger bands.   Very very healthy looking.   I have to look more closely at mine in my bins.   Fascinating.

Comment by synelg on April 2, 2011 at 6:23pm
Question.   So - Eisenia fetida and Eisenia andrei produce non-fertile cocoons when mated together in laboratory conditions.  So.... if they co-habit in manure piles and/or bins, will they 'choose' to mate only with their own species/genus (apologies if I've got the term wrong - please correct me), or will they mate interspecially (OMG) and cut down the rate of reproduction?
Comment by Ar-Pharazon on April 4, 2011 at 9:45am
The latter... see this lengthy discussion.  :-)
Comment by Ar-Pharazon on April 4, 2011 at 9:51am
Apparently, the two species can't tell each other apart, and mistake each other for viable mates.
Comment by synelg on April 5, 2011 at 1:56am
That article and the discussion prompted my query Ar-Pharazon.  I'm still a bit confuzzed though.   The scientists put one ef and one ea together and they mated and produced dud cocoons - I got that, but did they prove that in a mixed environment, that they would do this?   I'm sorta thinking along the lines that donkeys and horses CAN mate and will produce infertile offspring (mules), but I've not yet heard of wild horses and wild asses living in the same environment seeking each other out and bonking.... 
Comment by Ar-Pharazon on April 5, 2011 at 10:16am
I don't know, synelg.  For what it's worth, in my opinion I think a mixed population will attempt to interbreed at random.  I think this because I believe I read once about the population distribution of E. andrei vs. E. fetida (and unfortunately I don't remember where), and I recall it saying that natural populations are generally always just one or the other, not both -- even though both species can be found on multiple continents.  From this, I infer that a mixed population is unstable, and natural selection will eventually eliminate one side or the other in a given area.  It's a bit of a stretch from limited information, but hey, it's a public forum, and I can spout my ravings if I want to.  ;-)

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