Earthworm Egg Capsules, Red Worm Reproduction

Written by Matthew on May 1st, 2012
Red Worm Egg Capsules

Red Worm Egg Capsules

Worms reproduce by a fascinating method which also helps ensure their future existence. Earthworms lay egg capsules in the soil usually near a good source of food. The neat thing about these egg capsules is their ability to survive harsh conditions that would kill adult earthworms. Earthworm egg capsules can survive freezing, and dry conditions for extended periods of time. The egg capsules will wait for more favorable conditions to hatch.

Adult worms in favorable conditions will lay between 2-4 egg capsules per month. Worms are hermaphrodites and must mate before laying. I have never seen a worm “blowing” an egg capsule, but a colleague of mine tells me it looks like someone blowing a bubble out their mouth. Each egg capsule can hatch from 3-7 worms (Eisenia fetida). The worm egg capsules are bright golden yellow when first laid and progressively turn brownish red before hatching. Eisenia fetida egg capsules will hatch in about 21 days under ideal conditions and at about 80 degrees. The eggs hatch faster at warmer temperatures than what adult worms prefer.

 

6 Comments so far ↓

  1. Lorraine says:

    This is great! I just spent several hrs today harvesting castings from my 2 bins, and really got to see the egg capsules well for the first time. I also saw many tiny little worm-like critters–about 2-3mm long and pale white–I assumed they were newly-hatched worms (they were also very averse to light), but was not sure. They seemed to occur in groups of 3-4 in an area. If they’re not worms, what are they?

  2. Matthew says:

    Hello, that is great that you are having such great success with your worms. The little white worms could be grindal worms. They are not a problem, but could indicate just a little too much water. Add a little shredded paper and they should go away.

  3. Don says:

    Am interested in buying red wiggler egg capsules and have them shipped to East Africa – Uganda.

    where can i get such a supplier. From such a supplier i need to know the total cost of 1000 egg capsules including shipping.

    thx

    Don

  4. Gayle Meise says:

    At what temperature will red worms lay eggs?
    I had an old red worm bed I thought all the worms had died but put in cabbage, banana peels and left over greens and on checking the other day found about 50 full grown worms with tick bands. No eggs as the temperature under the house is about 45 degrees

  5. Matthew says:

    I don’t know the exact limits of when they start and stop laying eggs, but they will lay some even when very cold. They just do not lay as many eggs when it’s cold. About 65-70 is optimum.

  6. Matthew says:

    Hello, sorry I can’t help you on this one. I don’t sell worm egg capsules right now.

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