Red wigglers toxic?

fishkeeper

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I seem to remember that EK posted a reference to red wigglers being toxic to fish? Does anyone have it or know where it is?
 

Jennewt

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They are toxic to garter snakes. And the secretions from the worms are actually quite toxic to amphibian larvae. I don't recall anything about them being toxic to fish.
 

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Hello Jenn.

Thanks! Do you think though that this info means they are not good food choices for fish/amphibians?
 

Jennewt

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It seems like every food choice has some kind of risk, whether it's lack of calcium, or something else. Lots of people have used red wigglers to feed fish and newts. I would say that if you have homegrown ones, you should definitely use them. If not, I'd be less enthusiastic, especially since commercial ones are often grown in manure.
 

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My latest batch of axolotls were fed red wrigglers (home grown) as a staple from 4 weeks to 4 months old and have grown very well - my only problem is that they're chewing down a handful daily. Possibly not the best option if you're squeemish, up until a couple of weeks ago I was having to chop the worms, not very pretty. I also regularly use them for a variety of fish (though some species do refuse to eat them) and a turtle with no problems.
 

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I am not sure about the secretions from red wrigglers being toxic, although I know they are distastefull to some amphibian species.
In the past I have used redworms as a staple diet of both the larvae of Pleorodeles and Tylototryton verrucosus with no problems at all.
Due to the taste being offputting to a lot of newt species though, I prefer to get out into my garden and dig up good old earthworms to use as food whenever possible
 
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