There are a number of different worm species that are beneficial when keeping worm farms for the production of vermicompost. These are not typical earthworms you may find whilst digging in your veggie patch. The following species are more tolerant of the environment found in a typical worm farm, preferring to stay near the surface and eat.
Eisenia fetida (aka Red Wiggler)
Surface feeder who will eat approximately half their body weight daily. Will not wander off but will tend towards feeding in the upper part of the compost which makes for the perfect worm farm worm.
Eisenia hortensis or Dendrobaena veneta (aka European Night Crawlers)
Longer than the red wiggler and with a propensity for feeding throughout the compost. Feeds more slowly than the red wiggler but makes for a great complementary worm alongside the red wiggler for any worm farm. Will not tolerate higher temperatures that the red wiggler can survive.
Amynthas (aka Gardener’s Friend)
A large appetite and quick wriggle typify the Amynthas worm. Not overly fond of very high temperatures.
Eisenia fetida photo by Flickr User ‘Wheatfields’
Licence: Creative Commons 2.0
Eisenia hortensis photo by Trevor Reid
Licence: Creative Commons ASA 4.0 International
“Earthworm”photo by Fir0002/Flagstaffotos
Licensed under GFDL 1.2 via Commons