RE: NANFA-- flatworms

Hoover, Jan J ERDC-EL-MS (
Mon, 22 Apr 2002 12:49:48 -0500

Casper wrote:
>>>i too just found what i think are flatworms in a pool i kept least
killies in
last year. small white worms which cruise the surface film of the water.
visible at night w/ a flashlight.
my question is like chuck's...
do fish eat them so are they a source of food?<<<

Jan writes:

They are not an important food for fish. Most triclad flatworms
(planarians) avoid light and live under rocks so fish rarely encounter them.
Also, they have special structures in their skin called rhabdites which
generate mucous as a form of defense. Dwarf gouramies are supposed to eat

At a spring in South Oklahoma, I used to collect Dugesia dorotocephala, a
beautiful jet black planarian (once thought to be the largest in North
America). It occurred on all submersed surfaces including open patches of
gravel. Large numbers co-existed with orangethroat darters Etheostoma
spectabile and I never saw a fish go after one. I would use dorotocephala
as a comparison species for the planaria we used in Introductory Zoology
labs (D. tigrinum) to demonstrate differences in photonegativity.
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