Effect of Photoperiodism on Feeding and Defecation in Compost Earthworm Eudrilus eugeniae

Effect of Photoperiodism on Feeding and Defecation in Compost Earthworm Eudrilus eugeniae


Subject and more

  • LCC Subject Category: Environmental Sciences
  • Publisher's keywords: Photoperiodic effect, feeding rate, Eudrilus eugeniae, synchronization and re-synchronization
  • Language of fulltext: english
  • Full-text formats available: PDF


    Sunitha N. Seenappa



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The effects of different fixed photoperiodic regimes on the rate of feeding and defecation in the epigeic oligochaete (Eudrilus eugeniae) has been investigated. The different photoperiods stipulated were Natural 12hr Light: 12hr Dark (natural LD 12:12), Reversal of 12hr Light: 12hr Dark ( reversal LD 12:12), 24hr Light source (L 24), 24hr Dark (D 24) and control set (natural rhythm) were experienced by E. eugeniae in the course of the study. The experiments were carried out during the ambient winter (26 degree C + 2 ) and all clitellate worms showed varied feeding and defecation activities. Worms fed actively only during night times under natural LD 12: 12. when exposed to reversal LD 12:12 revealed acclimatization to the changed conditions of day and night by the end of 2nd week and started feeding voraciously. Worms that were maintained in D 24 showed enhanced feeding rate with increased biomass over the worms that were maintained in natural LD 12:12 and natural rhythm (control set). ANOVA and ANCOVA tests applied revealed that the total darkness or diffused light without any disturbance influenced the feeding rate of worms that in turn showed higher production of defecation as vermicompost. The critical difference (C.D.) of ANOVA was 0.98(0.05%) and the difference for testing among treatments in ANCOVA was 781191.15(0.05). Resynchronization pattern were seen when changed to reversal LD 12:12 from natural LD 12:12. Observations revealed that worms were confused from day 1-4 when any changed photoperiodic devices were fixed other than their regular normal pattern of Light and Dark cycle and later got acclimatization into the induced photoperiodic cycles. The study apart from proving the exogenous factors on the photoperiodic effects also proven the importance of darkness to the worms in defecation that has importance in the conversion of given substrate at a faster pase.

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