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The group of Chironimidae forms often the biggest
portion of all the animals one can find in freshwater pond.
The bloodworm is the larve of the non-biting Midge fly
and lives on the bottom of a stream or a lake.
There it feeds itself with algae and detrutis and live in
the in the top five centimetres of the sediment in tubular
holes. Sometimes they live freely amongst the weeds or
bottom debris. They have a great adaptation for living
in these low-oxygen environment:
There blood contains a red pigment that can bind
dissolved oxygen strongly. For this reason they can live
in the oxygen depleted mud. For reasons that are not clear,
they sometimes leave theire holes to swim to the surface,
a very dangerous journey. Most of the fresh waterinhabitants
love the bloodworms as a food. Fish , salamanders and shrimp
and some waterinsects feed on them.
Salamanders can smell them and dug out their holes.

The nonbiting midge fly

The flies look like mosquito's, and form swarms above the
water surface. And , like mosquitos, they deposit their
eggs on the water surface.

How to raise bloodworms

Place a tub in the ground in youre garden, as far away of youre home
as possible. A good place is under a tree branche. It will fill with
decaying plants and water. Bloodworms start to live between these leaves.
But mosquito's will float
on the surface, that is why you have to place this tub far from youre

Now , if want to have those bloodworms ,get some of the leaves out en place
them in a sieve. Place this sieve with the leaves above a basket
filled with water ,so that the leaves touches the surface of the water.
When the leaves dry up, the bloodworms try to escape through the
leaves into the water.

The bloodworms collected this way are clean, not conteminated with
bacteria or meat or whatever, and you have living food even in

How to raise bloodworms commercial

Do the same as above but do this in a forest, far away from humans.
And fill the tub with meatparts like pigheart etc cover it after some time.
wait some months and come back: The bloodworms have eaten the bacteria
on the decaying meat. These bloodworms need to be washed of course.
it are these bloodworms that you buy in the petshop.

As a living food

They can be given as a universal food to fishes , salamanders,
shrimps, waterspiders, ,freshwater lobster and some waterbugs,
like backswimmers. And can also be used in brakkish water.
In sea water they only survive for some minutes. This is cheap
and very proteine rich food.
Bloodworms contains more calories then daphnia (waterflees)
or chabora (glassworms).

How to store bloodworms

Keep them cool (refrigerator) and wet (covered by a wet newspaper
Bloodworms are called this way as they have the smell of
fresh blood (in large numbers).

The bloodworms and the microscope

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The mouth with rasp.

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The midportion, the gut can be seen shining through

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The tail

    A bloodworm eaten by a Atlantic ditch shrimp

    Frogfish are a natural predator for bloodworms

    A Scud is eating a bloodworm. As this freshwater shrimp is
    afraid of loosing its prey to other scuds, the bloodworm is
    transported to be eaten safely.

    The bloodworm contains little fat and a lot of protein

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