By William D. Anderson
   

Bloodworms - Midge Larvae



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The worms attached to the lip of this crank bait are midge larvae, commonly called bloodworms for obvious reasons. Members of the Chironomid family, these larvae contain hemoglobin which stores oxygen within their bodies making it possible for them to exist for some time in environments with very little or no oxygen. For this reason, bloodworms are able to live in lake bottoms which are organically enriched and/or highly polluted. They are very common, and generally important, in sewage oxidation lagoons. Bloodworms are fed upon by various species of fish including sunfish, yellow perch and walleyes. In a documented feeding behavior, yellow perch actually enter into anoxic lake bottoms and feed on these midge larvae for short periods of time despite the lack of dissolved oxygen. "Big Thanks" to the IL Dept. of Natural Resources for this information. 12/10/2001

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