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Candy Stripe Flatworm (Prostheceraeus vittatus)

Candy Stripe Flatworm (Prostheceraeus vittatus)

This is the best looking of all the flatworms! These primitive animals are flattened dorso-ventrally and have a simple digestive system with a single opening under the body. They seem to glide slowly around the rocks but this is due to cilia underneath. The marine flatworms are quite large compared to those found in freshwater. However, they are typically only a few centimetre long and are easily overlooked.

The Candy Stripe Flatworm grows up to 5 centimetres. Like other flatworms it is carnivorous and will feed on small, sedentary organisms like sea squirts. They are hermaphrodite but are not believed to self-fertilise. Asexual reproduction is also a possibility and flatworms have amazing abilities of regeneration.

With care you can find them under stones, in kelp holdfasts and amongst sea squirts. Found mainly in the south and west of UK.



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