Indian Blue Worms, the underestimate composter worms

Updated: Mar 20, 2021

Indian Blue Worms

Vermicomposting is fun, challenging, and faster than hot composting. I compost with blues, red wigglers, African nightcrawlers and European nightcrawlers.

Blue worms are typically considered some of the least desirable composting worms to use, and the reasons for this will be described further below. However, they are perfectly capable of vermicomposting and creating large amounts of castings. They are also very prolific and will quickly populate most any bin you add them to. Indian Blues are sometimes called Malaysian blues. Their scientific name is perionyx excavatus.

How can we identify Blue Worms?

Blue worms are somewhat longer than red wigglers, but thinner. They are shorter than European nightcrawlers. They are about 3 inches in length when fully grown and stretched out. Their clitellum, or saddle, is difficult to spot, and is in-line with the rest of their body and may be lighter and color than the rest of the body. They are usually a blue to blue-purple color, with an iridescent sheen when exposed to light. This coloring is very similar to African nightcrawlers, but blues are much thinner and shorter. There isn't the obvious banding when they stretch out to move. They do not make a very good bait worm. They tend to be too thin to be able to be used for bait easily. Their rapid movement also makes them more difficult to hook.

One of the easily identifiable features of the Indian blue is how it moves. Indian blues move much more rapidly, almost frantically, compared to a red wigglers slow meandering movement. They will also sometimes flail around when disturbed, like the Alabama jumper, but not as readily.

Like most worms, a moist, but not wet environment is best. To check for this, pick up a small handful of bedding and squeeze (check for worms first). A few drops of liquid should come out from the bedding. If a large amount of liquid comes out, consider adding more dry bedding to absorb the extra liquid. Blues are a tropical species of worm, and for that reason they do not like temperatures below 70 degrees., however my basement average temperature in winter time is 60 degree F and my 55 gallons Indiana Blues’ bin is healthy and the worm are thriving thanks to the fact that usually I see that temperature inside the bin is on average 10 degree higher then room temperature. If outside, a larger bin will enable them to stay warm during cold periods. If you have the space, and you live in a cold place, bringing them into the garage or even inside your home will benefit them.

Mass Exodus of Blue Worms

Earlier, it was mentioned that blues are considered some of the least desirable worms. The main reason that blues were previously considered some of the least desirable composting worms is that they can be picky about the environment they are in. If it gets too cold, too wet, or there is a thunderstorm, it seems like they decide to leave the bin. I personally NEVER had this kind of problem and I live Upstate NY where thunderstorm, snow, and rain are very usual, my blues are very happy in their bin and they NEVER tried to escape. If you bring your worm bin inside ensure it is away from anything vibrating or spinning (like a refrigerator compressor or garbage disposal), as this can make worms nervous and when worms are uncomfortable, they ALWAYS try to escape. This is valid for all worms not only Blues.

Blue worms have a big appetite which makes them very suitable for producing worm castings (a.k.a. worm poop). This breed does not get as large as Red worms, yet they will eat just as much.

Like all good composting worms’ blue worms like living in close quarters colonies. This also makes them fast breeders; so many worm farmers think they are an ideal breed for composting. Unfortunately, we don't know of any way to really plump up blues for use as bait worms. However, they would make an interesting challenge for pet reptiles if used as feed worms.

Blue worms reproduce very quickly. Once hatched they become sexually mature and able breed in less than two months. In ideal conditions mature blue worms produce nearly 19 cocoons a week with one hatchling emerging from each. These are just basic guidelines and many factors influence reproduction rates. Those factors include food sources, temperature, and moisture conditions.

Where to Purchase Indian Blue Worms

You can purchase Indian Blu on our website, click HERE to buy your Indian Blu Worms shipped on your doorstep with free shipping.

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