Alabama Jumpers – Amynthas gracilus also known as the grey wiggler like the one in the picture below are not red worms. They are of a grey color and can be highlighted in fluorescent colors when held up to the light.
There are some websites online offering Alabama Jumpers under the name of Super Red Worms which are actually European nightcrawlers – Eisenia Hortensis.
So what’s the big deal?
First off the Alabama Jumper is a great garden bed or yard composting worm which survives and converts hard packed clay and sandy soils into a fertile loose organic soil matter due to the nature of the outer layer of tough skin. They survive outside and are not prolific in a worm bin.
The European nightcrawler will have a low to zero survival rate when placed in hard packed clay and or sandy soils outside since their skin cannot take the hard abrasions. They are very prolific in a worm bin.
Basically these two worms are opposites and used for different purposes with the exception of fishing. Both the Alabama Jumper and European nightcrawler make excellent fishing worms!
There is another site I recently came across offering a mix of so called red wigglers and Alabama Jumpers. Again, these two worms are incompatible.
The red wiggler is a composting worm which will do well in a controlled environment with a bedding of peat moss, shredded newspaper, cardboard… however will not in soil. The red wiggler also will do well on nitrogen based food scraps or what are referred to as green organic products such as lettuce, bell peppers, banana peels, string beans… mixed in with the bedding.
The Alabama Jumpers prefers a soil base such as clay and or sand and does not do well with the green organic products. It prefers the carbon based or brown organic products such as shredded newspaper, cardboard, leaves, hay, peanut shells…
So before you waste your money, always use a reputable worm dealer or worm farm to purchase your worms to insure you get the right worms for your needs.
A recommended site is Organic Worm Farm which is a reputable worm website offering the lowest prices on Alabama Jumpers. They also offer a toll free telephone number to answer any questions you might have on Alabama Jumpers or any other composting and fishing worms.