Nightcrawlers and earthworms are two different types of organisms that live in the ground. They are often confused about each other because they share many similarities, such as what they eat, their size, and their reproduction cycle.
But there is one significant difference between nightcrawlers and earthworms - what do you think it is?
In this blog post, we will discuss all these two worms so that you can better understand how to care for them in your composting system!
By the way, learn the fundamentals of composting here.
Nightcrawlers Are Nocturnal, and Earthworms Are Diurnal
This is the significant difference between these two worms! Nightcrawlers are nocturnal, meaning they go out hunting at night. Earthworms are diurnal and prefer to come out during the daytime (though you can find them outside of their homes in your garden any time). This means that if you have a composting system set up for your worm farm, it's essential to know what type of worm lives inside to add food after dark or before sunrise.
Nightcrawlers Have A Segmented Body, Earthworms Have An Unsegmented Body:
Nightcrawlers are segmented, meaning they have different sections to their bodies. On the other hand, Earthworms do not have a segmented body and instead just one long part with no divisions between each area of the worm's body.
Night Crawler Vs. Earthworm: Size
The average size for an adult nightcrawler ranges from 1 to 2 inches long with a diameter of about 3/8 inch; the average size for an adult earthworm ranges from 2 to 6 inches long with a diameter of about 1/2 inch. Thus, earthworms are longer but thinner than nightcrawlers. The difference is that they have no segments, so there aren't as many divisions between each section of their body as a nightcrawler has with its different areas.
Night Crawler Vs. Earthworm: Color
Nightcrawlers have a brownish-grey color, while earthworms appear white or light tan. There are also some differences in texture since nightcrawlers feel slimier (or slippery) because it gets wetter when it rains, which makes them easier to find on the ground after dark outside your house! If you pick up either worm, earthworms will be more squishy, while nightcrawlers will feel a little bit harder.
Earthworm Vs. Nightcrawler: Food
Earthworms eat mostly dead plants and decaying leaves from trees, shrubs, grasses, etc., but they also feed on the roots of living plants that grow underground, which is where most nutrients derive from. This diet allows them to produce fertilizer for soil with their castings (aka poop) which benefits gardeners! The nightcrawler prefers rotting or decomposed animal matter like meat scraps, fish heads & bones, as well as bird droppings and cat litter. It's easy to spot these guys in your backyard after dark because worms come out at night time when it's cooler outside.
Earthworm Vs. NightCrawler: Reproduction
When it comes time for reproduction, both worms engage in what's called "self-fertilization," meaning they produce offspring without mating with another worm (aka not having sex). Earthworms do this by forming cocoons around fertilized eggs which linger inside them until they hatch into baby worms. They're born male or female, but when grown-up, they become either males again if they come into contact with a male worm or females.
On the other hand, nightcrawlers reproduce by laying eggs in moist soil, which need to be fertilized (think of it like having sex) before they hatch into baby worms. This is because nightcrawlers don't have any male genitals, so what's called "cross-fertilization" has to take place for their offspring to grow up and become adults!
Benefits of Earthworms In Your Garden
Two of the top benefits of having earthworms in your garden are:
- They aerate the soil and make it more fertile.
- Their burrowing destroys old plants, releasing nutrients back into the ground for new plant growth. The worm castings they leave behind are also a great addition to any compost pile!
Benefits of Nightcrawlers In Your Garden
Some benefits of having nightcrawlers in your garden are that their diet includes decaying material like leaves which makes them perfect for feeding on vegetable scraps from your kitchen (you can also use this as an opportunity to introduce edible worms). Also, you have to feed them once or twice per week, so they don't eat all the food before it has had time to decompose properly. Keeping nightcrawlers around will also help to naturally support your garden free from harmful pests and other critters.
More Benefits of Earthworms In Your Garden
Some benefits of having earthworms in your garden are that they can handle a much more extensive range of conditions than nightcrawlers, so you'll find them on every continent except Antarctica. They are also more aggressive eaters than nightcrawlers because their diet includes soil, making it hard for them to starve even when food is scarce.
Worms provide the perfect natural fertilizer as well- worm castings have been shown to increase plant growth by up to 40%! So if you're looking for a way to improve the health of your plants without using harsh chemicals, then worms might be what you need.
Which One Is Better for Composting in a Worm Farm?
In most cases, nightcrawlers are better for composting because they can live up to four times longer than earthworms. Consequently, the more food you put them in contact with and the deeper you bury it down-the greater their chances of long-term survival. Earthworms do have one advantage over nightcrawlers, though: they reproduce faster!
The Benefits of Both Types of Worms
A worm farm is an excellent way to recycle organic waste material into a rich fertilizer that will help your plants grow healthy and strong while reducing greenhouse gas emissions by as much as two tons per year.
You won't regret starting a beginner's kit at home; not only does this give you the chance to be a little less reliant on chemical fertilizers, but it also allows you to enjoy all of these benefits:
- reduced dependence on artificial chemicals
- no risk of overdoing it with fertilizer
- richer soil for plants and flowers
- cleaner air and water
In Conclusion, there are many differences between nightcrawlers and earthworms, as discussed in this blog post. However, they are both fantastic creatures that can provide many benefits to enjoy!