The Great Red Wiggler Worm

Common Names:
  • Blue Worms
  • PE Worms
  • Indian Blue Worms
  • Malaysian Blue Worms

Scientific Name: 
  • Perionyx Excavatus 

Blue worms are sometimes called the Malaysian blue or Indian blue and are already in use by vermicomposters who unknowingly purchased them from a seller in the United States who for years has been passing them off as Red Wigglers.  But after years of being duped by this seller, buyers are calling "UNCLE".....

This little composting worm can be identified by its blue sheen that's visible when brought into the light. 

 Blue worms are small; typically growing to no more than 3 inches and are even thinner than red worms.  Their skin is very thin and they do not make a good fishing worm at all.

The blue worm is surrounded by controversy.  The reason we already mentioned above.  But if you do a quick search of the web will find many disappointed customers. 

Blue worm will often start to escaped their bins, they are highly flighty with pressure changes, weather changes, ph changes, and less than ideal bin conditions.

Blue worms will "invade" all other worm bins when they escape or the same tools are used between bins. This poses a problem for worm farmers that want to sell 100% red worms to their customers that want the more resilient red worm.

Advantages of Blue Worm:

Blue worms possess many of the same traits as red worms; in fact they are often mistaken for red worms. Naturally they make good composting worms, but only under the right conditions. They have good appetites and breed quickly. One trait they do not share with red worms is the ability to withstand temperature and environment extremes.  

Blue worms like to live in bedding alongside their food source, or right below it. Like all top feeders they live off decaying vegetative organic matter, usually vegetables, fruit, garden scraps, and aged animal manure.  

Blue worms have a really 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.  

Blue worms are profic breeders and will out breed any other worm in the bin and overtake them.
Blue worms do best in temperatures between 70 F to 80 F (21 C - 26 C). The University of Hawaii reports that blue worms can survive temperatures down to 45 F; however we don’t recommend pushing that lower limit if you have invested lots of money in blue worms. However we have had blue worms survive a frozen solid bed, these worms were shipped to Larry Shier in Canada the Author of a book dedicate to this species of worms

That being said we still don’t think cold tolerance is a strong suit of the blue worm. If you raise them in tropic climates you should have no problems. 

Despite their tropical origin it's a good idea to make sure your blue worms are protected from the sun and are provided ample shade if the temperature gets into the nineties. Blue worms have a propensity for fleeing their bins if conditions are not to their liking. We are not talking about a dozen worms crawling from the bin; we mean hundreds or thousands at a time escaping their beds.    

The blue worm bin needs to be under high-intensity lighting all the time to keep the worms in the bins.  This is a costly consideration.  Otherwise you will have the same issue as above.

Fishing Bait:
Blue worms are NOT good for fishing, their skin is too thin.

As the worms do not like to be disturbed, it is best to feed the worms 1-2 times per week rather than daily. Worms eat about half their weight daily, some found the blue worms will out eat any worm and actually eat their body weight in food a day. 

Worm Foods:
  • Fruit/vegetable peels
  • Coffee grounds/filters
  • Plant cuttings
  • Tea bags
  • Crushed eggshells
  • Brown paper towels
  • Cooked pasta & rice (no sauce)
  • Egg cartons/drink trays
  • Breads/cereals/grains
  • Leaves/grass clippings
  • Beard clippings
  • Beans
  • Manure (horse, cow, rabbit)
  • Sawdust (from untreated wood)

Worms do not have teeth, they have a gizzard and use the soil to process their food. Your worms will be eternally grateful if you chop the organic material into small pieces. The smaller the pieces, the greater the surface area to rot. The worms can process the organic matter more rapidly. They adore the pulp from juicers.

The blue worm can be easily distinguished from the Red Wiggler by several factors.

The blue worm lacks the alternate light & dark banding of the red wiggler.

The blue worm clitellum is flat covers segments 13-17 whereas the clitellum of the red wiggler covers segments 25-30 and is raised. In 
laymans' terms, that means that the "collar" of the mature blue worm is much closer to its head than the red wiggler. 

The blue worm is considerably faster than the red worm, and act like tiny snakes.

The blue worm will leave water incredibly fast.

The blue worm has an iridescent blue sheen under light

The blue worm is considered invasive in some areas!   

Looking for more info on the Blue Worm?
Check out our friend Larry's Book: