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inch worm or parasite

Posted by old_house_j_i_m 40214 (My Page) on
Mon, Jul 12, 10 at 15:06

I found an odd little "worm" in my skimmer the other day - it was about 3/4 inch long and pale gray with black thin rings around each segment - about 15 segments in all. It pulsed as it moved, rather than squirm along like an earthworm.

Is this just a worm that landed in my skimmer, or are there fish parasites that grow this large ? It kind of freaked me out, I can not find good Identification for it and am not sure how to even search for such info.

Can anyone help ? I may be able to get a photo - I stuck it in a plastic bag to keep it for ID - it may be dead by now.

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: inch worm or parasite

Sounds like a caterpillar might have landed in your skimmer.

RE: inch worm or parasite

  • Posted by horton 6 b Ontario. (My Page) on
    Mon, Jul 12, 10 at 18:53

Old House, take a look at the linked site below.
At a guess I think you may have found a Cutworm.
They are usually terrestrial but it may have fallen off a plant into your pond and ended up in the skimmer.
Cut worms come in a variety of colours,some with stripes, some just plain.

Here is a link that might be useful: Cutworms

RE: inch worm or parasite

Thanks Nancy and Horton - the cutworms look similar, but not quite the same. I agree, now, that it was probably just some land-loving escapee, rather than a fish sucking parasite. I thing, though I am not a biologist, that the parasites are considerably smaller than this guy was.

The thing that did and still does throw me though was the way he moved, he pulsed to propel himself forward, rather than wiggle (Like a worm) or "step" as an inchworm does (where they arch their body, then flatten, to move ahead)

Ill keep looking for info - there are just SO MANY worms out there ...

RE: inch worm or parasite

  • Posted by horton 6 b Ontario. (My Page) on
    Fri, Jul 16, 10 at 13:10

OH, I think you are correct by the way you describe it's forward action, that it is unlikely it is an aquatic parasite.
I have found some of those worm/caterpillars in my garden from time to time, they arch their backs as they move along but I have never encountered one in the pond.

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