Mystery invert question
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Old 03-20-2013, 01:54 AM   #1
jeremy va
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Mystery invert question


I found some of these guys in two tanks today. Both have had plants from a plant vendor in them and both have had moss covered rocks in them from a local stream. They may be planeria of some kind which I've not seen before, but they are way bigger than the ones I've seen - about 2" when fully extended and they don't have the planeria "ears". They are pretty amazing: they seem to move about under the substrate in little tunnels (some run along the side of the glass) and come out and ooze about during the day or night. Their rear end (I'm guessing here) has some sort of sucker on it and they stick to the glass with it then sorta rear up and stretch out. The remind me of inchworms. Their front end is much narrower. They also swim like eels. I've used google images and done several searches on terms like "brown planeria". There is an aquatic earthworm that sorta fits the bill. There is something called a Ribbon Leech which supposedly has a sucker on both ends but I don't see a sucker on the front end of these guys. I even tried "leeches in my fish tank" but only got a very funny string on the Barr Report where it sounded like nobody could positively ID them either. Anybody know what they are?
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Old 03-20-2013, 01:59 AM   #2
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Those look like leeches...
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Old 03-20-2013, 02:10 AM   #3
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Also, what I would do if all else fails is take those photos & send them 2 your state conservation dept or someone similar & have someone look @ em & they might b able to tell u or send u or the pics 2 someone who can... Good look & if u do find out what they r let us know cause I'm curious myself 2 know what they really r.
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Old 03-20-2013, 05:43 AM   #4
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+1 on leeches.
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Old 03-20-2013, 07:14 AM   #5
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Definitely look like leeches.
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Old 03-20-2013, 07:39 AM   #6
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Default Mystery invert question

Leeches they look like


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk please ignore any spelling typo thingys
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Old 03-20-2013, 10:13 AM   #7
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+1 leaches
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Old 03-20-2013, 11:48 AM   #8
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Anyone know absolutely, definitely for sure?

I mean, I thought they looked leech like. But they also look worm-like. There are rather many different leeches and I would also like to know what kind this is (if it is a leech). Leeches are supposed to have two suckers (front and rear). This one has a rear, for sure, but I've not seen a front one in action. They must also have "34 actual segments" but I can't count them -- too small. There are also aquatic earthworms though I don't think an earthworm would have a sucker.
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Old 03-20-2013, 12:11 PM   #9
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Tiger leech...not a tiger leech as they are giant and from like the congo river, but it does look like, Hirudo verbana. They use to use this as a medical leech....
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Old 03-20-2013, 12:27 PM   #10
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Your location on your profile says "Va" so I am assuming u live n Virginia If so, here is the VA Dept of Conservation info. Give em a call or shoot an email 2 em. That's what I would do. What do u got 2 loose? Good luck & hope this helps

Department of Conservation and Recreation
203 Governor Street | Richmond, VA 23219-2094
(804) 786-1712

Please send website comments to web@dcr.virginia.gov
Address general inquiries to pco@dcr.virginia.gov
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Old 03-20-2013, 04:55 PM   #11
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A sucker is a pretty classic indicator for leeches. It may not use the front one- I've seen ones that primarily hang on with the posterior sucker and crawl around and stuff.

Leeches and earthworms are both annelid worms, so there will be some similarities (ringed/segmented body plan, etc.), for what that's worth.
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Old 03-20-2013, 10:20 PM   #12
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Stevekx500, OK, I sent the VCR an e-mail. They will probably be here at 4 am kicking down the door when they come to arrest me for having some sort of dangerous invasive species. I'll blame you. (:-)

(This actually happened to someone who posted on a forum regarding Cana snails (which are eating FL). Apparently the person posted on the fact that they kept some in tanks and received a visit from the appropriate authorities who demanded they hand over the prohibited snails...)

Thanks, though!
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Old 03-20-2013, 10:50 PM   #13
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Good luck 2 ya. Something like that = not knowing what that is, would drive me nuts. Not tryin 2 b pushy or tellin u what 2 do but that's the only thing I could think of doin 2 find out the true answer. That or maybe someone @ a university
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Old 03-30-2013, 02:39 AM   #14
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OK, so I got a call from a biologist associated with parks and recreation -- nice guy. Told me for sure it is a leech. However, species will remain a mystery bcse they are extremely hard to ID without a microscope and some reference books. Good news is that it is probably a vegetarian. Actually it is probably a vegan. There's an irony. Thanks for the help folks!
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