A red wiggler worms life cycle goes through different stages. It starts from the cocoon or egg stage, until the mating stage again. But we will really never know which came first, much like the egg and chicken theory. But did you know that all earthworm types are hermaphrodites? It’s true. And just like red wiggler worms, they too have both male and female reproductive organs. But in spite of, they will still need another of their kind to be able to mate and reproduce. But on a lighter note, let’s discuss each stage that brings a worm to mature.
An earthworm lifecycle starts with a cocoon (the egg stage). It’s typically much smaller than a rice grain, and is yellow in color. It also takes about 3 weeks to incubate the eggs, and will eventually change its color to red, to maroon after some time. By this time, about 4 to 6 worms are already being developed inside the egg, and will start to hatch from it more or less in a month’s time.
The next stage is the Juvenile stage. This would be the stage wherein the newborn worms have already emerged from their cocoons. They are about ½ inch in size when they first start out, and would only be as thick when 4 strands of human hair are combined. Other than that, these baby worms also start out with no genitals. They only develop these reproductive organs in a later stage. But despite of, these worms are already capable of eating, and can instantly be used for vermicomposting.
Now, the mature state would be the next stage. It is when a juvenile worm starts to mature into an adult worm. But baby worms will have to take 40 to 60 days before they reach this stage. But along the way, their genitals are already developing. As soon as their clitellum (a part of a worm’s body that contains both the male and female genitals) develops fully, they can start mating with other worms of their kind. And as soon as their clitellums turns into an orange color, they can now mate with other Eisenia Foetida worms.
The last stage for this cycle before it goes back to the egg stage, would be the mating stage (unless you want to include the real last stage in a worms life cycle which is death, but even that is uncertain). This worm composting worm is an hermaphrodite, but they will still need another worm to be able to mate. These worms usually have a heightened sex drive when the temperature starts to feel warm. It is by joining their clitellums together that they start to exchange sperms; and they are only able to secrete new cocoons after mating. After this, fertilization then starts to transpire.
Worms such as these can be kept in worm bins composting systems. So whether you contain them in bins or not, a red wiggler worms life cycle can still go on its own, the way mother nature undertakes it.