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 Polyclad Flat Worm

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badxgillen

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PostSubject: Polyclad Flat Worm    Sun Nov 08, 2015 11:18 pm

As the title suggests this threads subject of interest is the Polyclad Flat Worm, meat eating more precisely. It seems there is a variety that consumes algae, if only we were that fortunate, but not much information is out there on either. Possessing a soft pliable body that can get as flat as paper or contract thinner than a pencil this is a nocturnal animal capable of fitting into the smallest crevices and tightest holes. Being brownish to grey with varying blotches and patches this paper thin worm can also camouflage very efficiently. In fact this species is thought to prey on Tridacnid clams and actually resembles the mantle of a T. squamosa.



There are reports of this flatworm consuming snails, I believe this one is of that nature because there are two clams that have been in the tank for some time with no additions for almost a year. But there has been a definite decline in snail population and now that I am aware of it I see that there are no stomatellas either. Fortunately you need a male and a female for prodigy so hopefully the specimen has not bred previous to its introduction to the tank...Fingers crossed right!?



Flatworm exit and such seems to have little to no effect on these creatures as they are not in the same family.To make matters more confusing many polyclads are not identifiable from picture or video with many not identified by science as of yet.

Screen Name: rshimek from Reef Central states it best in this quote.

"To clear up some confusion... the old taxonomic grouping called the "Phylum Platyhelminthes" is no longer considered to be a valid group. Examination of the fine structure of the animals in it, coupled with analyses of the genetic material, indicates that it was a "false" grouping, one made on gross structural appearance. Unfortunately, not all things that look alike are related (sorta like sharks, porpoises, and tuna all have the same general shape, but are only very distantly related).

The so-called "red planaria" not only are not planarians, but now are recognized as being members of an entirely separate group, given the name the Acoela or Acoelomorpha. Planarians - and polyclads such as the animal illustrated in the first post of this thread - are in the group that used to be called the "Class Turbellaria" of the Phylum Platyhelminthes. Calling them "Turbellarians" (a group now including actual planarians, polyclads, and several other meaty free-living (mostly) flatworms) is probably the best way to go. I suspect the nomenclature of the group will shake out over the next few years as more work is done on the internal inter-relationships within it."


I have also included some extra references for others who may want to do some research of the nitty gritty.

This is a link to the reproductive methods of the flatworms
http://www.rzuser.uni-heidelberg.de/~bu6/Introduction09.html

Wet web media has some aquarist gathered information on various flatworms here. http://www.wetwebmedia.com/flatwormfaqs.htm

And some Polyclad Biology
http://www.rzuser.uni-heidelberg.de/~bu6/flatintr.htm


Last but not least a few images of the same worm moving, you can see it is able to manipulate its body rather well.

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PostSubject: Re: Polyclad Flat Worm    Sun Apr 10, 2016 5:55 pm

Figured I would post this link here as well as it contains some various information on marine flat worms in general and it rightfully has a small article on the polyclad.

https://www.reefs.com/blog/magazine-parent/2013-2/pest-free-reefkeeping-iii-the-flatworms/
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