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Perionyx ceylanensis is a newly discovered epigeic species with promising vermicomposting ability. Being a native vermicomposting earthworm species, it is necessary to know about detailed biology of this species so that it can be used in vermiculture- based biotechnology. But literature is scanty regarding its growth and reproduction in different organic wastes. Our present study deals with the growth and reproduction of P. ceylanensis in different experimental diets. Growth and reproduction of native epigeic earthworm species, P.ceylanensis was studied in different experimental diets mixtures such as CD: cowdung; CB: cowdung- bamboo leaf litter (1:1 w/w); CRB: cowdung-rice bran (1:1 w/w) under laboratory conditions in order to select best diet for the vermiculture of P. ceylanensis. Earthworms were weighed and searched for juveniles on weekly basis. Highest rate of growth of the species was recorded in CB (12.91 ± 2.03mg/ worm/ day) which was significantly (P<.05) higher than CRB (4.49 ± 0.59) and CD (6.34 ± 0.046). Highest rate of reproduction was recorded in CRB (11.39±2.21 juveniles/ worm/ week) diet and lowest in CD (2.02± 0.22 juveniles/ worm/ week). However, the rate of reproduction in terms of juvenile production was at par (P>.05) among CB (8.925 ± 1.48 juveniles/ worm/ week) and CRB (11.39±2.21 juveniles/ worm/ week).The maximum weight gain was observed in CB (616.25 ±106.2) diet.   Percent (%) increase in biomass was highest in CB (215.81± 25.71) followed by CRB (101.38 ± 15.18) and lowest in CD (85.72 ±17.81). Percent (%) increase in biomass was also significantly (P<.05) higher in CB diet than CRB and CD. Authors recommend bamboo leaf litter as food additive among the chosen three experimental diets for vermiculture of P. ceylanensis.

Bamboo leaf litter, cowdung, P. ceylanensis, reproduction, rice bran.

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