Platydemus manokwari

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Nominated as one of the 100 worst invasive species.

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Platydemus manokwari

Taxonomy

Taxonomic Tree

Kingdom Animalia -- animals

Phylum Platyhelminthes -- flatworms
Class Turbellaria -- planarians
Order Tricladida -- triclads
Species Platydemus manokwari

Taxonomic Serial Number

No TSN for this species

Family

Rhynchodemidae

Genus

Platydemus

Species

manokwari

Common Name

Flatworm

Native Distribution

New Guinea

Description and Basic Biology

Platydemus is a worm, uniform in dark brown to black dorsal external appearance, with a pale gray ventral surface. Adults are small: from 40 to 65 mm in length. They are flattened in appearance with a thickness of less than two mm. The worm lives in leaf litter and other organic debris. It can survive in a wide range of habitats, from pristine rainforests to heavily disturbed urban environments.

Environmental Impacts

Platydemus is a mollusk eater, and has been implicated in the extinctions of many native snail species throughout the Pacific. Originally, Guam is thought to have had as many as 70 native species of land snails. This number has been greatly reduced, primarily to predation by Platydemus. All of Guam’s native land snails are extinct, endangered, or threatened.

Economic Impacts

It is unclear what economic impact Platydemus has had on Guam. The reduction of populations of the Giant African Land Snail (Achatina fulica) by the flatworm may have been beneficial to farmers on the island.

Method(s) of Introduction

Platydemus was introduced to Guam in the late 1970s to control the population of the introduced Giant African Land Snail (Achatina fulica).

Known Control

None known.

External Links

Search Google

Global Invasive Species Database Record

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