Friday 12 September 2014

Land flatworm

Some posts take a long time to come out. This one in particular has been on the shelf for a long time. The reason? I wasn't sure of the identity of the animal for a while. I found it under a stone on the 29th of September 2012. A small, shiny white long thing, looking like a piece of root, but then it moved! What on earth was it? I picked it up and placed it on the white bowl, where its paleness didn't contrast as brutally with the background. A very stretchy animal, with no rings or setae: cannot be a nematode or an annelid... a flatworm? I got excited, a land flatworm, wow!, I didn't know we got these in gardens. Then I thought, wait a minute, isn't there an invasive land flatworm? I researched the topic. Yes, there are three species of native British land planarians...and at the turn of the XXI century 10 introduced species. After some inquiries it turned up mine was probably one of the native species, Microplana scharffi. Thank you to Christian Owen in iSpot who identified it for me.
The flatworm with its head up

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