International Journal of Current Microbiology and Applied Sciences
ISSN: 2319-7692 Volume 2 Number 2 (2013) pp.28 35

Growth and reproduction of Perionyx excavatus in different organic wastes

M. Birundha1, J.A. John Paul2,* and P. Mariappan1
1Department of Zoology, Raja Serfoji Government College,
Thanjavur 613 005, Tamil Nadu, India.
2DST-PURSE Scheme, Faculty of Agriculture, Annamalai University,
Chidambaram 608 002. Tamil Nadu. India.
*Corresponding author:


Earthworm as one of the best means of abating organic pollution and also to minimize indiscriminate use of inorganic fertilizers. Earthworms have important functions by virtue of their feeding and general behavioral activities like burrowing, digesting, excreting with microorganisms and supporting further decomposition of biodegradable matters. The growth and reproduction efficiency of locally available earthworm species, Perionyx excavatus was assessed in various biodegradable organic wastes powder such as leaf litter (LL), straw waste (SW), coirpith (CP) and pressmud (PM) which was mixed with cowdung powder at 1:3 ratio (W/W). Maximum growth rate of 4.81±0.47 and 4.30±0.38 mg/worm/day was observed on the 90th day in PM and LL respectively. The mean age of clitellum development was 30.63, 31.44, 31.44 and 33.00 days for PM, LL, SW and CP respectively. The rate of cocoon production was 0.79 cocoons/worm/day in pressmud. Cocoons of P.excavatus that were produced in PM, LL, SW and CP had a hatching success of 67.27, 65.38, 54.00 and 48.05 % respectively. Among the four substrates LL was preferred by this earthworm followed by PM.

Keywords :Cocoon production; growth curve; life cycle; Perionyx excavates; Vermiculture.