Domesticating Ugandan local earthworms: Survival of African nightcrawler Eudrillus eugeniae and common earthworm Lumbricus terrestris under different feeding rates in culture systems
There is increasing price of fish meal which is the sole protein source in fish feeds and an alternative and cheaper protein source is found to substitute or complement the expensive fishmeal to reduce the feeding cost. Five treatments, each with two replications were designed for each species (Eudrillus eugeniae and Lumbricus terrestris) at different feeding rates as follows: A, 1%; B, 3%; C, 5%; D, 10%; E, 15%. Feeding rates waere as follows; A, 15± 0.7; B, 32±2.1; C, 47±4.2; D, 50±1.4 and E, 58±0.7. For L. terrestris, survival was as follows; A, 65±2.1; B, 67±1.4; C, 78±4.9; D, 82±3.5; E, 90±2.8 and E. eugeniae There was significant effect (P<0.05) of feeding rate on the survival of both species and the Fisher’s LSD multiple comparison test also showed significant different (P<0.05) in the survival among the two species. L. terrestris showed to be a good candidate for vermimeal while E. eugeniae showed to be suitable for vermicompost production.
Keywords: Vermiculture, Vermimeal, Vermicompost, Uganda’s earthworms, L. terrestris, E. eugeniae