Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Discovery in France of the New Guinea flatworm

Date:
March 4, 2014
Source:
PeerJ
Summary:
One of the consequences of globalization and increased worldwide freight trade is the introduction of invasive alien species. In the list of the 100 worst invasive alien species in the world, there is only one terrestrial flatworm: Platydemus manokwari, also called the New Guinea flatworm. This species has now been found in Caen, France -- the first discovery of the species in Europe. Given the threat, authorities should consider eradication and control of this flatworm, experts warn.

This image shows the world distribution of the New Guinea flatworm.
Credit: MNHN - SPN - J. Th้venot

One of the consequences of globalization and increased worldwide freight trade is the introduction of invasive alien species. In the list of the 100 worst invasive alien species in the world , there is only one terrestrial flatworm: Platydemus manokwari, also called New Guinea flatworm. This species has now been found in France, Caen, and was identified by an international team led by Jean-Lou Justine of Institute of Systematics, Evolution, Biodiversity, Paris, France (Mus้um National d'Histoire Naturelle / CNRS / UPMC / EPHE). This is the first discovery of the species in Europe, reported in an article to be published March 4th in the open-access journal PeerJ.

Related Articles


The damaging effects of the New Zealand flatworm, Arthurdendyus triangulatus are already known in Europe. This species has invaded the whole north of the British Isles, including Scotland and Northern Ireland, and is responsible for significant reductions in populations of earthworms. To prevent its spread to other regions, measures have been implemented by some European countries. This species has so far never been found in France.

Now, another flatworm has been found in France and in Europe for the first time: the New Guinea flatworm, Platydemus manokwari. These flatworms were found in a greenhouse of the Jardin des Plantes de Caen (Normandy), and were identified by their characteristic appearance and molecular analysis of gene Cytochrome Oxidase Type I, often used to characterize animals. As one of the 100 most invasive alien species in the world any new discovery is clearly very concerning.

Platydemus manokwari, which was introduced -- sometimes deliberately -- in over fifteen territories in the Pacific, has become invasive and it consumes land snails, endangering endemic species. Indeed, although living on the ground, it is able to climb on trees to follow the snails. Very flat, it measures 50 mm long and 5 mm wide, the back is a black olive colour with a clear central stripe, and with a pale white belly. The head is elongate, with two prominent black eyes. The mouth is in the middle of the belly.

The New Guinea flatworm, although from a tropical country, inhabits the mountainous regions of New Guinea at an altitude of 3000 meters, so it can survive relatively cool temperatures down to 10 ฐ C. Thus, it is not impossible that the species could spread into the environment in France and much of Europe. Moreover, it was observed in the laboratory to be capable of consuming European snails. Apart from the flatworm being a threat to snails, one of the main dangers of this case is that the diet of Platydemus manokwari is very diverse and in the absence of snails it can feed on numerous soil-dwelling species, including earthworms.

Platydemus manokwari represents a new and significant threat to biodiversity in France and Europe, which hosts hundreds of species of snails, some of which are endangered and protected. It is therefore important to consider the implementation of eradication and control of this flatworm.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by PeerJ. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Jean-Lou Justine, Leigh Winsor, Delphine Gey, Pierre Gros, Jessica Th้venot. The invasive New Guinea flatwormPlatydemus manokwariin France, the first record for Europe: time for action is now. PeerJ, 2014; 2: e297 DOI: 10.7717/peerj.297

Cite This Page:

PeerJ. "Discovery in France of the New Guinea flatworm." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 4 March 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140304094833.htm>.
PeerJ. (2014, March 4). Discovery in France of the New Guinea flatworm. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 31, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140304094833.htm
PeerJ. "Discovery in France of the New Guinea flatworm." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140304094833.htm (accessed March 31, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Earth & Climate News

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Models in Masks Highlight Indonesian Environmental Devastation

Models in Masks Highlight Indonesian Environmental Devastation

AFP (Mar. 31, 2015) — Wearing gas masks and designer dresses, models condemn the fashion industry&apos;s role in causing environmental devastation. Duration: 00:40 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Dutch Architects Show Off 3D House-Building Prowess

Dutch Architects Show Off 3D House-Building Prowess

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Mar. 31, 2015) — Dutch architects are constructing a 3D-printed canal-side home, which they hope will spark an environmental revolution in the house-building industry. Jim Drury reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Solar Plane Stops in China

Solar Plane Stops in China

Reuters - News Video Online (Mar. 31, 2015) — Solar Impulse 2 stops over in China&apos;s Chonqing, completing the fifth leg in its bid to become the first solar powered plane to travel around the globe. Rough Cut (no reporter narration). Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Solar Impulse Lands in China After 20-Hour Flight from Myanmar

Solar Impulse Lands in China After 20-Hour Flight from Myanmar

AFP (Mar. 31, 2015) — Solar Impulse 2 lands in China, the world&apos;s biggest carbon emitter, completing the fifth leg of its landmark global circumnavigation powered solely by the sun. Duration: 00:55 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins