Redworms are among the thousands of species of earthworms. The confusing fact is that there are a couple of worm species commonly called redworms. There are species of earthworms that live on the land (terrestrial) and in the water (aquatic). There are three different classifications for earthworms that live on the ground - litter dwellers (epigeic), shallow soil dwellers (endogeic) and deep burrowers (anecic). Litter dwellers, like redworms, are commonly used in compost bins.
Common earthworms, generally called night crawlers, are the ones most people find crawling around on the ground after rainfall. This type of earthworm originally came from Europe, but now can be found throughout North America and even in western Asia. Though commonly called earthworm, that name is the blanket term for all worms that live on the earth. Common earthworms grow to a few inches in length, but there are species of earthworms that can grow to be up to 14 inches long.
Eisenia foetida and lumbricus rubellus are species of redworms. They are often referred to as red wigglers or redworms. These are terrestrial worms often used in composting bins.
Composting with Worms
Compost is used when planting flowers and gardens. It helps enrich the soil. Worms are used in composting because they eat food waste and the worm manure is a nutrient rich substance which helps plants grow. Composting consists of putting worms in a bin with shredded newspaper and other biodegradable materials. Leftover food scraps then get tossed in.
Other Worm Facts
Worms have no lungs, they actually breathe through their skin. Each worm can consume about half its own weight in food every day. Worms have both male and female parts. It is a myth that a worm cut in half can regenerate its lost part. In fact, the only way they will heal is if only a small part has been cut off. A worm cut in half will just die.
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