Planaria, Greenbush, Kansas

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This wild-caught planaria (37° 30′ 36″ N; 94° 59′ 36″ W), likely of the genus Dugesia, was found living on the underside of water foliage. Notice the marked eye-like photoreceptors used by these animals to sense a broad range of light wavelengths.

7 Comments Add yours

  1. Manu Prakash says:

    What a wonderful post @Planaria1. I hadn’t never seen a planarian under the foldscope; what beautiful eyes. I also see a spotted pattern on the surface; is that pigmentation.

    So wonderful for us to have an incredible biologist like yourself join our community. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

    Cheers
    Manu

  2. Planaria1 says:

    Glad you liked it, Manu. And yes, the spotted pattern is a the result of pigmented cells found in the epithelium of these animals.

    I am elated to be part of this community of curiosity-driven minds.

    Alejandro

  3. laksiyer says:

    Fantastic. I love it when planaria come into my bottle, but so far I have had very little luck keeping them alive for more than a week. Do you have any tips for
    1. Selecting for them?
    2. Culturing them?

    Thank you

    1. Planaria1 says:

      Hi Laksiyer,
      to find planarians, it is best to look under rocks near the edge of the body of water you are exploring or under the foliage of water plants. Expose the undersides to sunlight and you will see them move if they are there.
      As for keeping them beyond a week, it is best to change the water in the container you are keeping 3 to 4 days after collection. Use spring water to replenish the culture. If tap water is all you have, fill up a container and let it sit overnight to allow the chlorine to evaporate. After 12 to 24 hours you can use the water for your planarians.
      Food? Small pieces of boiled egg once a week will keep them happy for several weeks. Make sure you remove any uneaten food a few hours after feeding and to change the water 2-3 days later. This should work well.

      Alejandro

  4. laksiyer says:

    Alejandro:

    Fantastic, thank you so much.

    Laks

  5. Manu Prakash says:

    Dear Alejandro,

    Thank you – what a nice description of culturing protocol. Just like cooking receieps; I have been imagining a “culturing receipe book” accessible for anyone (amateurs included) for culturing organisms of all kinds. Would be wonderful to partner on this with you and Laks!!

    Alejandro: another reason this above interaction is important is because Laks is a foldscope super user and for last 5 years, has been inspiring kids and alike to engage deeply in science. I love when great minds meet!! You two are the definition of what it means for great minds to meet.

    Cheers
    Manu

  6. TCIS Outreach says:

    Thank you, Alejandro. A newbie question: my pond water sample with glass slide and coverslip from the kit quickly fogs up. What could be the problem? – Jayashree

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