Orchids forum: Planaria in my orchids??

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Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
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DaisyI
Oct 1, 2017 3:07 PM CST
I am trying to catch a slug in my terrarium. Instead, I caught what I think might be the tiniest Planaria in the world. I can't find anything with enough magnification to get a good look but they move like Planaria and I think I can barely make out a little triangle head. Maybe. Squinting.

I'll try to get a photo when I find more. I put my potato slice back in the terrarium while looking for a better magnifying glass and they all ran away while I was gone. Sighing!

Ok, they came back. I got these photos. They are about 1/4 inch long and their heads are on the narrow end. Looking really close up, I wonder if I am seeing little tentacles and these are the tiniest slugs ever. Or Hammerhead Planaria... They move like planaria.
Thumb of 2017-10-01/DaisyI/77bad0
Thumb of 2017-10-01/DaisyI/ab21e6
Thumb of 2017-10-01/DaisyI/0615de

Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and proclaiming...."WOW What a Ride!!" -Mark Frost
Name: Elaine
Sarasota, Fl
The one constant in life is change
Cat Lover Master Gardener: Florida Tropicals Multi-Region Gardener Vegetable Grower Region: Florida
Herbs Orchids Birds Garden Ideas: Level 2 Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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dyzzypyxxy
Oct 2, 2017 11:56 AM CST
Wow, Daisy that's kind of creepy, huh. I don't know anything about flatworms, but I googled and it says their diet consists of snails and slugs so maybe they're helping keep your terrarium gastropod-free? It would probably help ID them if you can see what they're digesting.

On the microscope front, I got a great gift for my last birthday, a cheap little digital microscope that you just plug into your computer and the image appears on the screen at 300x magnification. It's great for these garden-related things like bugs, fungi, leaf spots etc. I think mine was about $60 off Amazon.
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
Name: Alice
Saint Helena Island, SC (Zone 9a)
Charter ATP Member Tropicals Hummingbirder Garden Photography Container Gardener Butterflies
Bromeliad Birds Ponds Region: South Carolina Orchids
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ardesia
Oct 3, 2017 6:12 AM CST
I used to have big planaria, 8" - 10", in my previous garden but never saw any little guys. Surely they had to start smaller though, so maybe... whatever they are, they are creepy.

Elaine, I LOVE the idea of your magnyfing thingie, can you share the brand or whatever it is called? Sounds like that would be a fun gift for my 13 yo grandson.
Minds are like parachutes; they work better when they are open.
Name: Elena
NYC (Zone 7a)
Daylilies Winter Sowing Hybridizer Peonies Plant and/or Seed Trader Vegetable Grower
Seed Starter Organic Gardener Composter Container Gardener I helped beta test the first seed swap Avid Green Pages Reviewer
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bxncbx
Oct 3, 2017 6:31 AM CST
Could be land planaria. I never saw any that tiny but I have seen them under 1 inch in length.

Not seeing much of a hammerhead though. The larger ones I saw were instantly recognizable.
Name: Elaine
Sarasota, Fl
The one constant in life is change
Cat Lover Master Gardener: Florida Tropicals Multi-Region Gardener Vegetable Grower Region: Florida
Herbs Orchids Birds Garden Ideas: Level 2 Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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dyzzypyxxy
Oct 3, 2017 9:56 AM CST
My microscope is Crenova brand, Alice. Just search "digital microscope" on Amazon and you'll have an array to choose from. Here's the link to the one I have. Seems the brand name has changed to Klaren now.
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B073B53MDN/

It's a little bit of a trap, though - as soon as you find something that's just a bit too small to see properly, you want one with more magnification. Big Grin The more you spend, the more mag you get.
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
Name: Karen
NM (Zone 7b)
Region: New Mexico Region: Arizona Greenhouse Cactus and Succulents Adeniums Sempervivums
Salvias Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Garden Art Plumerias Bookworm Hibiscus
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plantmanager
Oct 3, 2017 10:13 AM CST
Thanks for telling us about that microscope, Elaine. I just ordered one for a grandson. It sounds like the perfect gift!
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