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iLabs: The Pond Tank Planaria Are Still Alive…And Thriving!

July 30, 2012

Back in April we put our pond tank together. Aside from the usual things such as crushed coral, plants and fish (and unknown to us then, snails) we also added all of our protozoans, as well as pond invertebrates, such as rotifers, daphnia, tardigrades, and…planaria.

Since then we only know that it’s been a survival of the “food chain” for all these creatures. Regarding one of them, planaria, we have seen an occasional 1 or 2 from time to time. We even tried to see if any would venture into our planaria trap, all to no avail. We feared the worst for our Platyhelminthes/flatworm friends.

Enter one of our wonderful aquatics people here at the museum who stopped by to give our fish a rare treat — a mixtures of fresh, ground up food, not sure what or who was in that mix but the fish LOVED it.  Well apparently, it was SO wonderful, that hidden planaria came ‘literally out of the woodwork,’ or shall I say, out of the bottom substrate. TONS of them. Apparently that’s where they’ve been hiding, and hiding in LARGE numbers!!!  Our planaria are not only still alive, but THRIVING!

To get a glimpse of some of these flatworm friends who came up to get their fair share of the treats check out our video.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. July 30, 2012 12:10 pm

    Reblogged this on NC Museum of Natural Sciences Blogs.

  2. July 31, 2012 8:07 pm

    During research for my masters degree, I maintained triclad flatworms (planarians) on pieces of earthworm. They also liked crushed amphipods, which were abundantly available. Triclads will feed on almost anything with soft tissues that they can get their pharynx into. If they don’t get enough food they will gradually shrink.

    • August 2, 2012 9:02 am

      Todd, thank for the tip on what they like to eat and how. I appreciate it. Our planaria cultures are doing well, but I wasn’t sure if the tank ones had survived. I’ll make sure to keep them “topped off” with soft treats. Have a great day!

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