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This worm picture of Eisenia andrei matches the worm in my latest video.If you look at the spot on its snout.May be the key to identifying this species!

Views: 1332

Comment by Sue on November 15, 2010 at 10:24am
Yes Larry, I have seen some of the worms I collected from my composter have that spot. They're in my FT now. My FT is like a "stir fry". Every possible mix in it.
BTW, that's a very neat, clear picture.
Comment by Andrew from California on November 15, 2010 at 11:26am
Do you mean the light colored section that covers ~3 segments? If that is consistently there, then it definitely would make it easy to distinguish from EF. Do they say how long that worm is?
Comment by The Garbage Guru on November 15, 2010 at 11:31am
I am giving this batch time to settle in.I forgot the blacklight.But it works to locate euro cocoons with a flourescent light! That band could be the key? Surely scientists would have noticed something this simple.That would be a shock if it is that easy!
Comment by Andrew from California on November 15, 2010 at 11:52am
I know these were already posted on another thread, but here they are again. I don't know which site has it identified correctly. One of them has distinct stripes throughout the length of the body, while the other seems to show the striping mostly in the anterior portion.

source: http://www.natuga.de/english/knowledge/compost_worm_faq.html

Comment by Andrew from California on November 15, 2010 at 11:54am
In both photos E. fetida is supposedly on top.
Comment by Steven on November 15, 2010 at 5:56pm
In your photo Andrew, what are they calling the "tiger worm", EA?
Comment by Andrew from California on November 15, 2010 at 6:39pm
In the 2nd photo (by Amy Weishuhn), the one labelled "Tiger Worm" is identified as a variety of E. fetida. There's no mention of E. andrei. Here's her description from another photo:

"Even though they look very different, the 2 smaller worms are both Eisenia fetida. The Tiger Worm's striping can be attributed to it's feedstock which was paper pulp."

source: http://pets.webshots.com/photo/1099514509040640785QuRBhU
Comment by Steven on November 15, 2010 at 7:11pm
That makes sense now. I thought she was saying the "tiger worm" was a different species. I think feed has a huge amount to do with appearance. I was just looking through my bin and the latest additions are still mostly hanging around the manure. They look much more brown/gray than the ones that have grown up in the bin.
Comment by The Garbage Guru on November 15, 2010 at 7:38pm
Pumpkin turns PE's pink. I couldn't believe it! Does that mean they are all females?
Comment by Susan B on November 15, 2010 at 9:25pm
None of the worms pictured except Larry's first one have that extra spot at the beginning. I don't think it's common.

J Dominguez was very clear about stripes mean EF and no stripes mean EA. He's the one that did the study that said they really are different species and really can't produce viable offspring. Amy's photos are from a long time ago when people thought they were two strains of the same species. I'm not sure what she meant by tiger worm and I haven't run in to that name much. Because she doesn't use a species name, I'm not going to put her info in to my memory bank.

One of the things Dominguez and others were testing was what happens when you get two groups of either species that have been separated for a long time and mate them. Does that improve the health of the offspring (because the gene pool is more mixed). His results said yes for one species and no for the other. With any scientific research, it has to be repeated a number of times to be sure. What he did get consistently is when you mate an EF with an EA, cocoons are produced, but no baby worms.

I'm guessing that Larry's photo is from Germany because of the title. Andy's photos are from Germany as well. I'm sure Europes EAs and EFs have been separated for a LONG time from those in the US. Small changes like the spot in front might be a result of minor mutations along the way. Maybe in 1,000 years there will be more species - EF americanus and EF europeensis. We might not be around to find out unless a lot more of us start vermicomposting and recycling etc. For now I'm going to say my striped thick ones are EF and my more solidly colored one are EA and separate them when I get the time (maybe over thanksgiving break.) (My thin ones are PE.) I noticed that Andy's photo of the EA does NOT have a buldging clitellum. Maybe it's not completely mature, but then why'd they use that one to photograph?

Please, folks that have both species and a camera good enough to take clear shots that close, please post photos of your various species including what you think might be EA vs. EF. Bentley recently repeated what he learned in his masters degree classes on worms. You can't tell them apart by looking at them. All I know for sure is that in Spain, you can tell them apart (or his mixed species breedings wouldn't always result in no babies.) We're never going to prove anything here, but it's still fun to think about. Personal pictures please!

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