Most people find their worm bins endlessly fascinating.
But have you ever looked deep into your bin to
see what's in there? I mean really deep.
We took a variety of close-ups of a typical active
worm bin, and you know what ... it was really
cool! So then we thought, what if we got a microscope
to see what is really in there. The following
pictures and video clips are the result of what
Be sure to come back often as we will keep adding
new images and vid's as we continue to explore
the microbiology of the vermicomposter.
Red Wiggler Worms are the main decomposers
in your worm bin. They do the heavy consuming
eating up to half their weight in organic food
scraps every day (and this doesn't even include
the bedding they also consume).
Red Wiggler worm produces a casting.
(Click on pictures to enlarge.)
While videoing this
small worm I was trying to determine if I was
looking at the head or tail. It soon became evident.
Worms are Segmented creatures. Their
bodies are made up of a number of rings or segments.
Red Wigglers are sometimes called
Striped or Tiger Worms.
A series of close looks at worm eggs
(or cocoons). The eggs are translucent, so you
can see the worms moving inside the egg.
There can be up to
20 worms per egg, but the average is 5 or 6. Worms
are Hermaphrodites. That means that each
worm has both female and male sex organs. When
they mate both worms will go away pregnant and
each will produce an egg.
While looking thorough
you worm bin have you noticed a bunch of little
white specs? These fascinating creatures are called
Springtails (Collembola) and yes, some species
do have "spring tails". You can make them
jump by simply bringing your finger close.
There are many different
types of Springtails. Most species have an spring-like
appendage folded beneath the body called the furcula.
Springtails use the furcula to spring away from
Springtails clean out a worm egg.
Looking down into a worm egg as springtails clean
out what's left in the shell.
Potworms (or Enchytraeids)
Potworms are small white worms that
live in environments that contain a high percentage
of organic material (such as worm bins). They
prefer acidic soil and can survive in a wide temperature range. Potworms can tolerate a maximum temperature of 36° C. and have also been found living in snow at 5,200 feet above sea level (Florida Dept. of Agriculture). Potworms help mix organics into soil and bedding and live in harmony with worms, springtails and other critters in your bin.