Originally European, Tiger earthworms are often called Brandlings ( in Europe ) and Redworms ( in America ). They are a rusty colour with a distinct brownish tinge. Each segment is clearly defined by a yellowish band, fully circling the body. The clitellum is raised and commences at segment 32.
Tiger earthworms are epigees ( surface dwellers ) and, in their natural state, forage on the surface, in forest litter of thicker grasses. Being
exposed, they make good bird or fish food when washed into a waterway after a heavy rain. So , in her inimitable way of protecting her own, mother nature developed a defence system in the Tiger earthworms. When traumatised ( for example when attacked ) Tiger earthworms will emit an unpleasant smelling ( and tasting ) liquid. They therefore do not make good fishing bait-fish will avoid them and even spit them out. Tiger earthworms are called Redworms in America, some people believing them to be Reds, try to use them for bait. Any catch using one of these as bait is simply luck-bad for the fish, good for the fisher.
Tiger earthworms should not be confused with their close relative Eisenia fetida andrei, which differs in that it is of a good red colour and, while its sepments can be seen, displays no clear bands or rings. E fetida andrei is sometimes believed to be a cross between reds and tiger earthworms, but it is actually a separate class the same as the tiger earthworms.
In Australia and now in parts of America it is increasingly called a Red Tiger. Many worm growers mistakenly believe they are growing and selling true reds when in fact it is E. fetida andrei they have in their beds. A feature that will assist in the identification of E. fetida andrei is that the tail is often yellow.
Always check to see if you have tiger earthworms before going fishing.