Kompostwurm (Eisenia fetida)

Last week I shot the first pictures of a Kompostwurm (Eisenia fetida) in Austria at inaturalist.org! Although they can be found in every dungpile! Amazing!

The Kompostwurm is obviously also living in North and Middle America and is said to be an invasive species. but I wonder why from about 450 observacions only about 50 are IDed in research quality?.

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Because worms are hard to id from the pictures and who knows how many of those observations are correctly ided.

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Maybe not the place where most people start when they go inatting :sweat_smile:

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I have posted what are called Red Wigglers (Eisenia?) from my compost barrel here in Oregon. Probably E. fetida, though my knowledge of worm taxonomy ends somewhere before we get as precise as the family level (Lumbricidae, earthworms).

Compost piles and dung piles are homes to some interesting biodiversity including my favorite fly, the Golden Dung Fly. Attractive as flies go and with such interesting behavior. (Males hang around the dung pile. When a female shows up, all the males pile on around her and scuffle. Finally one male gets to ride the female out of the scrum as she walks over the pile laying eggs.)

Maybe that’s why:
https://boku.ac.at/fileadmin/data/H03000/H83000/H83300/download/lumkey.pdf

Try to apply that key on your observation :smirk:

You can’t, those photos only show that worm has banded colouration, maybe it’s enough for Austrian worms?

Exactly :slightly_smiling_face:

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Unless a worm can be rinsed in cold or chilled water till it stopped moving for a minute, and snapped a good quality photo.

I think @carnifex meant the specific observation OP talked about, you can’t key it out, as most of photos of worms that people post, my key book lists 20 Eisenia for the country, I wouldn’t id my observation of that genus to a species level from phone photos alone. That answers the OP question, there’re only so many observations of them because worms are not easy to id and mosy iNat users don’t go as far as you describe.

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