ARE THESE NEMATODES ?? IF NOT DOES ANYONE HAVE ANY IDEAS
Our underwater Raspberry Pi camera caught them floating (and wriggling) past. It was hard to tell how big they were at first - they could have been conger eels or minute larva so after a bit of focus tweaking and measuring, we now think they’re approx 6 to10mm long (perhaps more if they ever stop squiggling!)
There seems to be a steady stream of 2 or 3 a minute passing the camera. We wonder if they are some kind of roundworm
We really would like to know what they are as they could become part of our Otter’s Realm film so any help would be much appreciated.
THE SEA LAMPREY - NEITHER FISH NOR EEL!
These creatures really are straight out of a nightmare - growing up to
3 feet long, they don’t have a mouth but a circular “sucker” armed with sharp hooked teeth. When they latch on to their prey - which can be fish like mackerel, herring, salmon or trout - the teeth rasp through the scales and flesh and the lamprey sucks its blood. Their saliva contains a secretion that stops the victims blood clotting so the majority will die of excessive blood loss.
The adults are found at sea in the North Atlantic and Mediterranean but they have to return to fresh water to spawn, just like salmon, and like the salmon, they dig out a redd in the gravel where the female will lay her eggs. After spawning, the adults will die.
Young sea lampreys are nothing like the adults and are blind with no sucking mouth. They will stay in fresh water for up to 5 or 6 years before moving down to the sea.