“What is this worm?” asks this reader in his submission regarding the little, brownish worm pictured below. “Found among algae in the backyard koi pond in northern Illinois. Travels by attaching (perhaps by suction) one end and feeling around with the other. Can stretch to well over 4 times its resting length. Seeks air if submerged. Appears to be slightly flat. Was discovered clinging to hand. Found today. No discernible segmentation.” The thing that caught our eye in the excellent photo our reader sent in is the flattish part at one end of its body, which we assume to be its head. This is likely the part that it uses to “attach” itself to things and move along using, as our reader stated, “suction”. Based on this, as well as its appearance, we are inclined to say that this is likely a leech.
“I found this on our water while I was filling the tub”, states this reader in her query concerning the black worm pictured below. She is not sure if they are leeches or something else, and wants to know if it is harmful.
There is no getting around that leeches get a bad reputation, and we are sure that a couple of our readers might even have grimaced at just reading the word. However, while movies and TV represent leeches through their parasitic relationship to humans, as an entity by themselves, leeches are quite fascinating, and can even be beneficial to humans!
A reader wonders if the creature in this photograph is a dead slug. From the photo we can tell that the creature has black coloration, a smooth exterior, a shape that is bulbous at the head but thins out towards the tail, and is small compared to the $10 bill our reader exhibited for size comparison.
Glossy, black worms were found by this reader in her bed sheets. Having recently moved to Florida, our reader wonders if this is something her dog or her landlord’s cats is bringing in to her home, and hopes that we can tell her what these creatures might be.
We believe the small black organisms our reader found in her pond are either leeches or black fly larvae. Both are similar in appearance, though leeches are slightly bigger, and both are commonly found in ponds. Neither species are considered invasive and neither should damage her pond or cause any problems with the fish!
A reader from South Florida just requested some information about the creatures in a photo she sent us. She thinks they are leeches, but would like us to confirm.
We recently received a photo and question from a reader. She found a creature near her flowerbeds that she thinks might be a slug or leech, and is curious if it could be harmful. The photo shows a small worm-like organism that is shiny black and doesn’t have any appendages or antenna.
A reader wrote to us about a rash her son has in response to what is believed to be a leech bite. She found what looked like a leech on her son’s PE kit after rugby practice, and it was at this time that she noticed his skin reaction, which began as a red spot, and then spread into an itchy rash that covered parts of his body, arms, and legs. The reader has already sought medical help, and her son has been prescribed antibiotics. She only wrote to us to ask if we have ever heard of this sort of skin reaction occurring in response to a leech bite, and also to determine if what she found was in fact a leech.
The annelids are a large phylum of segmented worms; consequently, annelids are commonly called simply “segmented worms.” (They are also, by the way, called “ringed worms,” as the worms’ segmented bodies often make them look like they are wrapped in small rings.) There are over 17,000 species in the annelid phylum, according to recent research, and while this is far less diverse than the phylum Nematoda, which is estimated to have approximately 1,000,000 species, the annelids are still extremely diverse relative to other species of animals.
To learn exactly what type of worm is living in your cherry tree you will need to collect specific information on the appearance and behavior of the animal in question. Once you have this information, you can go online to find out the specific type of worm or visit your local library or bookstore to find books on worms
Earthworms don’t actually bite, but their skin can cause major irritation on human skin if contact last more than a few minutes. The irritation is not a result of the actual worm skin but rather the materials that worms pick up as they writhe, wriggle, and borough inside the earth and along the ground.
While leeches are not known to transmit disease, they can cause irritation and other allergic reactions in hosts as well as an infection or blood poisoning. In addition, a leech bite can bleed for hours if not treated. First, you must remove the leech by pushing the leech off the skin from the skinny end.