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Re: Leeches

From: Nevin Aspinwall <aspinwalln at SLU_EDU>

R Frank Louden wrote:
> I don't know for sure but they sound like leeches to me. If you observe
> these critters swimming and their motion is an up and down undulation
> to bottom not side to side like a fish usually wriggles) I'd say there is
> a good chance they are leeches. As far as changing suppliers, I would be
> surprized if leeches are not fairly common hitch hikers when collecting
> wild black worms or tubifex. I would like to hear about how to
> distinguish and remove these blood suckers from wild collections as I
> plan of doing some wild food hunting in the near future. I don't have
> enough experience with live black worms or tubifex to know for certain.
> Maybe an experienced live food collector will chime in and provide a bit
> more than my speculation.
> On Sat, 27 Dec 1997, Norm & Susan  wrote:
> > We have never had a problem with feeding blackworms and the fish love
> > But...we have notice in our last few batches of black worms, that some
> > them were flat and would stick to the container when we rinsed them. It
> > didnt dawn on me that they might not be a blackworm because they were
> > almost the same color. Until last night when I found 2 large leech-like
> > creatures in a mop.The leeches around here are darker, almost black so
> > not a local critter. Has anyone else seen these? How dangerous are
> > Unless you look close, they are easy to miss. Is it time to find a new
> > supplier?
> >
> > Regards,
> > Norm
> >
> > Norm Ruebsamen & Susan Stacey      Somers, Wisconsin
> >
> >
> >
> >
> +-----------------+------------+---------------------------------------+
> | R. Frank Louden | AKA #07581 |   e-mail: flouden at netusa1_net         |
> |                 |            | HomePage: www.netusa1.net/~flouden    |
> +-----------------+------------+---------------------------------------+
Hi All, The things you are describing as leeches may not be leeches. I
suspect that they may be Planaria which also are found in habitats with
lots of organic material. You should be able to tell leeches from
Planaria (a flatworm). Planaria usually have a triangular shaped head
with 2 pale eye spots. The body is usually black, never segmented, and
doesn't possess suckers at one end. True leeches are also often black,
but they are always segmented since they belong to the annelid worm
phylum. Leeches always have at least one sucker to attach to a host.
Look to see if the critter is holding onto the substrate with its
suckers. If so, It's a leech. Planaria are detritus feeders and
shouldn't harm anything- think of them as more snails. Leeches are
typically external parasites sometimes on fishes. Leeches can transmit 
protozoan diseases (Cryptobia) from one fish to another. Probablly not
good for kilies. See yoy later. Nevin

David W. Webb           Texas Instruments
(972) 575-3443 (voice)  http://www.dallas.net/~dwebb
(214) 581-2380 (pager)  2145812380 at alphapage_airtouch.com