During both the odonates blitz, and a recent odes and plants outing with the Nevada Native Plant Society, we found some pretty strange creatures in the water. Will Richardson is the brave hand in these clips.
The first is an adult Horsehair Worm, aka Gordian Worm, aka Nematomorpha, found in the beaver pond at the Bridge Tract in Meyers. Of course, at the time, we were absolutely perplexed as to what this was. It felt almost wooden and seemed to move in a fairly stiff manner. The adults are free-swimming, but the larvae are internal parasites of arthropods. It's amazing that they can get so large!
The second creatures are leeches, found at Osgood Swamp. What you can see are two hermaphroditic adults with dozens of immatures clinging to their undersides. It turns out that many species of leeches are quite nurturing parents, and many care for their young in a variety of ways. A few detached immatures can be seen also explore the surface of my hand. Thanks to Dennis Ghiglieri for the still photos!
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