Worm Farm Reviews

African Night Crawler Fact Sheet: Everything You Need to Know!

African Night Crawlers in a tub

Name: African Night Crawler (Eudrilus eugeniae) 

Genus: Eudrilus

Physical Characteristics: Gray & purple in color, up to 8 inches long. Much larger than red worms, and produce bigger castings.

African Night Crawler Facts

African night crawlers originate from the warm climate of West Africa. They are now becoming an extremely popular composting worm for people that live in similar tropic and sub-tropical regions.

Like other worm species, African night crawlers consume vegetative material. However, their appetites are much higher than other worms and can work their way through more food over a quicker time than other popular worms. This makes them a good choice for producing large amounts of vermicastings quickly.

Just because they eat quickly, doesn’t mean they eat everything. They’ll eat most fruit and veg scraps except for citrus, and will even stretch to coffee, egg shells, and soft garden waste. 

Order Your Composting Worms Here!

Nature’s best recycler: composting worms! Click here to follow the links to order your next batch of composting worms. Worms4Earth offers African Night Crawlers in either 1 lb or 2 lb bags. Check out the price using the link below.

Life Cycle of African Night Crawlers

Like other composting worms, African night crawlers are hermaphrodites, which means they contain both male and female reproductive parts. It’s an interesting but confusing topic, so we’ve gone into a bit more detail on worm reproduction here.

Unlike other worms, African night crawlers mate and grow quickly. Newly hatched worms take a little over a month to reach sexual maturity, and each mature worm can produce a cocoon containing two eggs, every second day. This means under ideal conditions a single worm can produce nearly 200 worms in 6 months! 

African Night Crawler Temperature Ranges

Due to their origins, the temperature range for African night crawlers is much warmer than other composting worms. They thrive in temperatures between 75°F to 86°F, and can survive occasional extreme events of up to 90°F. 

This is great for those in warmer climate conditions that would like to start a worm farm. Unfortunately, though, it means that these worms are completely off limits to anyone who has cold winters and can’t relocate their farms inside. In this case, you’d be better off with either red wigglers or European night crawlers.

African night crawlers

Caring for Your African Night Crawlers

African night crawlers can be very adventurous, especially if conditions in the worm bin aren’t to their liking. Like most worms, they prefer habitats that maintain a relatively neutral pH level of around 7. However, they can survive in slightly more acidic, or alkaline environments with little trouble. If conditions start to venture too far away from a neutral pH level, you may find that these worms like to escape.

Like all worms, African night crawlers breathe through their skin, so the bedding material they live in must be slightly damp but not too wet. Whilst they can survive in sandier, more clay-like environments, we recommend maintaining a similar moisture level as other worm species. This means that when you wring out a handful of bedding material, only a few drops should come out. If a lot of liquid flows out, then the material is probably too wet. Simply add more carbon-based materials to soak up the extra water.

Why Do They Make Good Composting Worms?

There are three big selling points for African night crawlers as composting worms. Firstly, their temperature range means that they’re suitable for different areas than other traditionally used composting worms. This opens up worm farming to those in warmer climates who may not have otherwise been able to do so.

Secondly, the rate at which African night crawlers reproduce makes them a great option for those wanting big worm farms, fast. These breeders may then create more and more farms to increase their composting and casting yields, or they may sell the worms themselves.

Lastly, the appetite and speed that African night crawlers can work their way through compost is a huge plus when compared to red worms or other night crawlers. Consuming more compost means they can produce more worm castings, which can be used in gardens and lawns, or sold off to other gardeners. 

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