I have a water-tray in my greenhouse keeping some of my CPs soaked, and lately, I've noticed that a lot of tiny worms -- I estimate over a hundred in this 3 sq. ft tray -- are squirming around in the bottom. They are not segmented, they have clear outer bodies, and you can see their brown digestive systems clearly. Some of them seem seem to have little black heads, so I suppose they might be insect larvae. The idea of these things either being dangerous nematodes or metamorphosing into something sinister creeps me out, but I don't want to dump the tray if they're just harmless detritivores that can feed my Utricularia. The reason I bring this up is that I'm hoping somebody knows a bit about aquatic worms/larvae and can give me some advice. If you can, I appreciate it.
I'm not sure if they are actually fungus gnats, but now you guys have me worried. I'll dump the tray ASAP and mount one or two worms onto a microscope slide in case I can learn something about them later. Thanks for your inputs.
The trays have been dumped now. I took a couple of worms and put them into a mixture of ethanol, glycerin, and vinegar for a day. Now I have them dry mounted on a slide. From what I can see on my microscope, if anyone is interested, each worm is in fact segmented, with a dark wasp-like head. Eyes seem to be present on the heads. There is no semblance of legs on the body. There are hooks at the anus that curve outwards from the body; on one, they are on the outside of the body, on another, they are on the inside, so I assume they are retractable. Their intestinal contents look like peat-moss bits, and their mouth-parts look blunt and indistinguishable. In conclusion, I would guess that these are insect larvae of some sort, and that they can feed on peat moss. No need to really worry about them any more, though.