FW: predatory terrestrial planarians

Sam James sjames at mum.edu
Fri Jan 23 05:05:44 EST 1998

At 10:27 PM 1/22/98 +0100, you wrote:
>Thursday, 22 January 1997
>Perhaps not quite our department, but anybody want to comment on this?

I'll do it.  There are many large planarians, some predators on earthworms
(that brings it back to Annelida).  Arthioposta (spelling?) triangulata
from New Zealand is now a significant pest in the UK, where it reduces
earthworm populations by 95%. This is poetic justice of a sort since
European earthworms have largely taken over cultivated NZ soils.  

While in Ecuador I found several 10 x 3 cm planarians (black with light
gray stripes).  They were not interested in earthworms when placed in small
containers with the potential food item.  Hence predatory planarians seem
to be particular about their food, if indeed these monsters were predators.

In other places I have found other terrestrial planarians, but I have never
tested their feeding habits.  I, too, would be interested to hear from
someone more informed on these animals.

~  Sam James                ~
~  Dept. of Biology         ~
~  Maharishi Univ. of Mgmt. ~
~  Fairfield, IA 52557      ~
~  sjames at mum.edu           ~
~  515-472-1146             ~
~ Systematics and Ecology   ~
~ of Earthworms             ~

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