Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Flatworm Color Explosion! Off topic! A Panoply of Playhelminths!

Today, here in Washington DC, we have an overcast day with a rather dreary storm raining down on us..and a quick skim through the news is filled with all kinds of blah and bad news, Sequester is the buzz of the town.. so..meh.  What to do??

FLATWORM COLOR EXPLOSION!!!!!
Pseudoceros susanae, in the Maldives by Jim Anderson
Pseudoceros susanae


A brief zoology lesson: Flatworms are members of the phylum Platyhelminthes. This is the group of worms which includes many parasitic forms, such as the tape worms and trematodes as well as several free-living species that live on land, in freshwater and in the ocean.

If you remember those funny arrow-headed ones that you could cut and via regeneration give it two or more heads? That was a flatworm!  Many, many species are found throughout the world.

Free living flatworms are mostly predatory-feeding on immovable animals, such as tunicates to other smaller animals and worms. There's a LOT of different species with many interesting biological stories! Some (go here) are mimics with nudibranchs! 

But most folks don't realize just how colorful and gorgeous they are in the tropics!  Here is a bunch....

Pseudoceros bifurcus from Kenya.
Pseudoceros bifurcus 02
Photo by Jim Anderson
Another of the same species (P. bifurucs) from Singapore apparently feeding on some tunicates.
Red-tipped flatworm (Pseudoceros bifurcus), eating Pink ascidian?
Photo by Wild Singapore
Pseudoceros laingensis from Straits of Johore
Purple-spotted flatworm (Pseudoceros laingensis)
Photo by Arthur Anker
Sorry, this one didn't have a name.. Amazing to look at though... From French Polynesia.
flatworm 2-2
Photo by Pauline Bosserelle
Another flatworm I don't have a name for.. but apparently from the Philippines
Flatworm 5608-2
Photo by "Jason" aka Jasdivr
Another one without a name.. This one from Oahu, Hawaii!
Divided Flatworm
Photo by Bill Stohler
Possibly Cycloporus sp. on its tunicate host/food (Didemnum molle) fr. Wori Bay, Sulawasi
unidentified Flatworm on the surface of a Tunicate (Didemnum molle) - Wori Bay
Photo by Christian Loader
Pseudoceros susanae?  A beauty from the Maldives!
Susan's Flatworm
Photo by Chris Dow
Another stunning Pseudoceros susanae? from the Maldives
M0024146
Photo by Philippe Guillaume
Purple flatworm! From Bali.
IMG_9482
Photo by Ben Naden
Pseudobiceros bedfordi, the so-called "Persian carpet flatworm." This one from Dayang, Malaysia
Persian Carpet Flatworm, Dayang
Photo by Dyana Wu

A neat one with a different texture! A "papillose flatworm"  Thysanozoon/Acanthozoon? From Madang, Papua New Guinea.

Cute papillose flatworm (Thyzanozoon sp / Acanthozoon sp ?)
Photo by Arthur Anker
Thysanozoon sp. from Panama.
Thysanozoon sp, Panama
Another gorgeous pic by Arthur Anker
Acanthozoon sp. from the Philippines
Acan
Photo by Eunice Khoo
and that's just the marine ones!  the land ones get even better! but I'll save those for another day....

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