Oligochaete Worm - Aeolosoma variegatum hemprichi - Video

Images made through a microscope. All subject types.

Moderators: rjlittlefield, ChrisR, Chris S., Pau

Posts: 2137
Joined: Sun Aug 15, 2010 1:43 pm

Oligochaete Worm - Aeolosoma variegatum hemprichi - Video

Post by Mitch640 »

This is the third one of these I have found in my jar of river water. He was injured, or I thought he was when I first saw him. It took me a few minutes to figure out what was going on.

The Oligochaete Worm Gets eaten alive. Some sort of flagellate gets inside it's skin and chomps on it. Soon others arrive and get their share. It turns into a feeding frenzy and they eat the whole thing.

The video is kind of long, but very interesting. I would really love to know what the bugs were that could do this kind of damage to it.

Here's the video of the picnic.

Tom Jones
Posts: 322
Joined: Sat Jan 31, 2009 2:05 am
Location: Crestline, CA

Post by Tom Jones »

Nice video! Not quite to the level of Hyenas and Wildebeast :lol: , but pretty cool anyway.

By the way, I'm not too sure I'd want to swim in that river! You just never know what you might loose! :shock:


Posts: 2137
Joined: Sun Aug 15, 2010 1:43 pm

Post by Mitch640 »

Thanks for looking Tom. The worms are way too small to see, but just knowing they are there is enough to keep me out of the water. As for the eating bugs, I swear, I saw some teeth in that one end and a set of jaws. Voracious is a good word for them. I thought they were going to end up eating each other. LOL

Site Admin
Posts: 23215
Joined: Tue Aug 01, 2006 8:34 am
Location: Richland, Washington State, USA

Post by rjlittlefield »

Very interesting behavior, well seen and well shot!

A small typo: I think you meant "ciliate", not "flagellate". I didn't see any flagella on these things and their movements are typical of ciliates. I don't recognize the beasts, however.


Posts: 2137
Joined: Sun Aug 15, 2010 1:43 pm

Post by Mitch640 »

Thanks Rik. I did mean Flagellate, cause I thought I saw one whip at the mouth end of one of them, but, I wasn't sure. I didn't see any ciliates I could recognize. Your probably right though, that first one went in circles for a couple minutes, something ciliates would find easy to do. Pretty interesting behavior either way. :)

Posts: 1808
Joined: Fri Feb 19, 2010 3:56 pm
Location: España

Post by fpelectronica »

Hi Mitch
Magnificent video
The voracious ciliate, I think, could be Ophryoglema

Posts: 2137
Joined: Sun Aug 15, 2010 1:43 pm

Post by Mitch640 »

HAHAHA, thanks Francisco, voracious is the perfect word for those things. I thought it had a mouth like a parrot fish eating coral. I have never seen a ciliate do that. It was a lucky find for sure. :)

I searched Google and found Ophryoglena, and that led me to a thread by ABEL. The google description sounds about right, found in stagnant water and eats dead or dying protozoa.

http://www.photomacrography.net/forum/v ... hp?t=10819

Posts: 2688
Joined: Thu Sep 04, 2008 2:03 am
Location: southern New Brunswick, Canada

Post by NikonUser »

My book says something different.

Those things are scary.
It’s perhaps even worse than it looks. These beasts are Histophagous Ciliates feeding only on fresh metazoan tissues (that includes us). They wander about as paramecium-like hunting forms and when food is found they change to the feeding form that you show.
student of entomology
Quote – Holmes on ‘Entomology’
” I suppose you are an entomologist ? “
” Not quite so ambitious as that, sir. I should like to put my eyes on the individual entitled to that name.
No man can be truly called an entomologist,
sir; the subject is too vast for any single human intelligence to grasp.”
Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr
The Poet at the Breakfast Table.

Nikon camera, lenses and objectives
Olympus microscope and objectives

Posts: 2137
Joined: Sun Aug 15, 2010 1:43 pm

Post by Mitch640 »

Scary is right. It's uncanny how they were able to find the dying worm, homing in on it like they had radar. I suppose if they were biting on us though, they are so small we'd probably never feel it until it was too late. I am not going into that water again, that's for sure. LOL

Post Reply Previous topicNext topic