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Planaria freshwater: features, nutrition, reproduction

White stones are found under stones in freshwater bodies at the very bottom. They belong to the class of ciliary and are primitive creatures.

Scientists have named this species planar worm. In Russia, they can be found in the middle lane. Planaria are common throughout the world.

These worms are also popular with aquarists, since they do not bring much harm to aquatic creatures or humans.

The most simple and primitive inhabitant of the aquarium flatworm – planaria

White freshwater planaria is a class of ciliated worms that are not parasites. Its size usually does not exceed 2 centimeters, the shape of the body is flat.

In some places there are large specimens, but this is the exception rather than the rule.

For example, under the coastal stones of Lake Baikal, individuals up to 30 centimeters can be found.

The planarian body is bipolar and covered with small cilia, thanks to which it moves. Its main color is white., but there are worms of green, gray, yellowish, brown, reddish, and even lilac.

In some habitats spotted planaria are found.

Planaria can be different colors, but most of them are white

The muscle fibers under the ciliary skin can contract, and this allows them to lengthen or shrink. Their head is in the shape of a rhombus with two black eyes that are able to determine the level of illumination.

They have an organ of balance, which helps them navigate where the top and where the bottom.

Tactile organs the worm is presented in the form of sensitive cells scattered throughout the body. They are developed quite well.

The head of the body has a pair of tentacles.

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The digestive system planaria has an interesting structure. Her swallowing apparatus is very unusual and is located under the abdomen.

The planarian feeding process consists in throwing out special threads swelling in water, with the help of which a freshwater predator captures prey. Then he presses against his prey with his whole body, sucks it with his mouth and draws it down the throat.

Internal structure includes:

  • muscle bag;
  • nervous system;
  • excretory system;
  • digestive system;
  • senses.

The most interesting thing in the structure is the digestive system, especially the process preceding swallowing.

As for the circulatory system, the planarium is absent. Nutrients are absorbed directly by intestinal cells, and oxygen supply and carbon dioxide removal occur through the skin.

Due to the fact that their body is flat, the worms have a very good gas exchange. Their breathing is carried out due to oxygen dissolved in water. Since they have no anus, the worms get rid of food debris, throwing them back through the mouth.

Digestion of food occurs due to the digestive juices produced by intestinal cells.

Planaria leads a hidden lifestyle and activity usually shows at night, and during the day it hides under stones or driftwood at the bottom or in the thickets of aquatic plants. The danger it is for mollusks, which, after swallowing it, may die.

She also has excellent vitality. This is due to good regeneration.

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Since planaria is a hermaphrodite, reproduction occurs in two ways:

  1. By division, when the body of a flatworm splits at the very peak of sexual activity. After some time, each part is transformed into a full-fledged individual. Independent decomposition of the body usually takes place under unfavorable conditions – for example, a rise in temperature or a lack of oxygen.
  2. With the help of the sexual method, which consists in laying eggs on any type of substrate. To do this, the worms must touch each other for a few seconds. When the female and male cells connect, the zygote will travel to the oviduct, where it will be satiated with nutrients and various microelements. After this, a cocoon will be formed, which will later become an egg. Within two weeks there is its maturation and, as a result, the appearance of many small individuals.

You can keep a planarium in an aquarium, despite the special softness of their outer covers. Sometimes they and their eggs enter the tank accidentally with untreated soil or live food.

Planaria does not require special care.

Inhabitants of an artificial reservoir are not capable to harm this type of worms. Even large fish avoid them, since planarians emit thick mucus that can envelop fish fins and hamper their movement.

They do not need special food., for the existence of enough waste products of other representatives of the reservoir or dead algae particles. Planaria also feeds on small fish roe.

If the breeding of the worms was not the goal of the aquarist, and there is a need to get rid of them, then you can put the fry with gourami, who will gladly destroy the planarian and its eggs.

With the help of a number of chemicals, you can also get rid of these white worms.

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