View Full Version : Flatworm buddies?

1st December 2006, 00:16

I just bought a portion of blackworms to feed to the two surviving t.karelinii larvae of mine. I noticed something strange when I was rinsing them off; there are several large flatworms in with the blackworms. They are 1/4-1/2 inch in length and about 1/4inch in diameter. Are they just an added munchy bonus or something I should be concerned about? Does anyone know what they are? They rolled into balls when I was rinsing the worm blob and that's how they caught my eye.....

It's very strange to see them. Thanks for the help!!

1st December 2006, 00:55
Are they a light brown with a dark line down the middle? If so, I get them when I buy my blackworms to, I didn't know what they were so I pick them out.

1st December 2006, 02:30
Blackworms almost always come with these flatworms. They appear to be harmless to newts. I've heard that they prey on the blackworms themselves. Nothing to worry about.

1st December 2006, 15:17
Huh. ok. that's interesting. Thanks Jenn. I'll leave them alone.

1st December 2006, 16:01
I always remove them as they eat blackworms but thats just a matter of taste. Plenty of blackworms anyway.

2nd December 2006, 02:22
Same here. Once I sent a shipment back, but that was only because there were almost more flatworms than blackworms. Usually I pick them out while feeding out the worms if I can. As Jen mentioned, they are predators but I have never seen the numbers of blackworms diminish as a result of them.

2nd December 2006, 15:20
I usually remove them and feed them to some of my adult newts(my orientalis really go for them).

9th March 2008, 03:28
Hi...they are leeches that prey upon blackworms -if you put a few in a container with some worms you can watch them suck the worms down. The leeches do not feed upon blood - oddly (to me, anyway!) - most leech species are predacious - blood-sucking appears to have evolved secondarily, in only a few groups. The leeches associated with blackworms are great scavangers, hiding by day in the substrate or below rocks, etc. and emerging at night to feed upon feces, leftover food and blackworms. They do specialize on blackworms however, and, at least in my experience, die off if not given blackworms from time to time. They do not harm fish or salamanders and attach elongated, leathery egg cases to rocks, filter cases, etc.