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What is the blood in bloodworms?

Otterwoman

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I hope this is not too stupid a question, but I've been wondering about the blood in bloodworms, which I've started using recently.
I know they are mosquito larvae; but why the name?
Are they commercially raised with blood? I know how red the water gets when I defrost them, and if so, what kind of blood is it?
They smell vaguely of blood, but I also thought they might be named that just because of the color. I might not want to know the answer to this question, but every time I defrost them I wonder.
On the other hand, maybe the mystery is more frightening than the truth.

Also, are they special mosquitoes?


Thanks
 

bellabelloo

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A quote from my Obserever Book of Pond Life ( John Clegg)

''bloodworm'' larvae of midges and annelid worms such as tubifex, all possessing the blood pigment haemoglobin which,, on account of it great affinitty for oxygen enables them to make the most of what little of this gas is present.
 

dani

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I hope this is not too stupid a question, but I've been wondering about the blood in bloodworms, which I've started using recently.
I know they are mosquito larvae; but why the name?
Are they commercially raised with blood? I know how red the water gets when I defrost them, and if so, what kind of blood is it?
They smell vaguely of blood, but I also thought they might be named that just because of the color. I might not want to know the answer to this question, but every time I defrost them I wonder.
On the other hand, maybe the mystery is more frightening than the truth.

Also, are they special mosquitoes?


Thanks
Thats actually a really good question, I've often wondered that too, they do smell of blood, The ones which I get are live theyre always in a bright red liquid which smells a bit chemically. Theres ofen weird black blobs in the water too which they all seem to gather round i have no idea what it is but they seem to be eating it.:confused:
 

TristanH

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Bloodworms are actually the larva of a type of non-biting midge in the chironomid family. They are so-called because their blood contains exceptionally high levels of the pigment haemoglobin, giving them their blood-red colour. They need this because they live in very oxygen-poor environments (i.e. the bottom of ponds), and so need access to every scrap of oxygen available. The red colour doesn't matter much because the bottom of ponds tend also to be dark, so the red appears black to potential predators (such as newts).

When a large number of them are in a bag together some of them will die and / or become damaged - this may give the water they are in a pinkish tinge. Freezing them will cause the cells to burst, releasing the blood into the water.

As bellabelloo mentioned, Tubifex worms are blood red for the same reason.

Hope this helps!

Tristan
 

Otterwoman

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Thank you, that definitely explains it. In this case, the mystery was indeed much more frightening than the truth...I had envisioned blood filled cattle tanks...with millions of worms swimming in the blood. This is much more palatable!
 
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