oa African Zoology - Life-cycle of the African nightcrawler, Eudrilus eugeniae (Oligochaeta)

Volume 24, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1562-7020
  • E-ISSN: 2224-073X



In order to determine the potential of the earthworm Eudrilus eugeniae as waste processor and protein producer, the life history of this species was studied. The development, growth and reproduction of E. eugeniae were studied. Cattle dung was used as substrate with a moisture content of 70-80% and a temperature of 25�C. Data were gathered over a period of 300 days. It was found that cocoon production started within 24 h after copulation and can be sustained for at least 300 days. Cocoons are produced at an average rate of 1,65 cocoons per worm per day. The mean incubation period of cocoons is 16,6 days with a hatching success of 84% and 2,7 hatchlings per cocoon that hatched. Sexual maturity is attained by the offspring within 40 to 50 days after hatching. E. eugeniae is compared to other vermicomposting species.

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