Australian flatworm

Australoplana sanguinea

Overview

Photo credit: ©The Food and Environment Research Agency (Fera)
Australian flatworm - Australoplana sanguinea
Description
  • It is up to 8cm long and 5mm wide, with an orange flattened body. Many tiny black eyes are along the anterior and lateral ends.

    Download N.I.E.A. ID guide


Origin and Worldwide Distribution:
  • It is native to eastern Australia.
  • Outside its native range, it is found in Great Britain, with the biggest population in the south west of the country. 

Potential or known impacts:
  • Voracious earthworm predator, which affects native earthworm populations.
  • May reproduce by splitting in two and regenerating into a complete worm. Sexual reproduction may occur, however only 3 egg cocoons were seen in a 10 year period.

How did it/could it get here?:
  • It probably was introduced with imported plant soil or plant containers.

Is it found in Northern Ireland?
  • It is present in low numbers in Northern Ireland. 

You can help by reporting any sightings: @ the Centre for Environmental Data & Recording (CEDaR) - Or via the iRecord App.
Methods for prevention:
  • Check soil from around new plants - don't plant or introduce to a non-infested area
  • Don't give or receive plants from areas where Australian flatworms are present, as this can help their spread
  • If seen, take a picture and submit the sighting
  • Destroy yourself or seek help to do so
For further queries, you can contact the Invasive Non Native Species (INNS) Team in the Northern Ireland Environment Agency on 028 9056 9558 or Email: invasivespecies@daera-ni.gov.uk

Species Related Files:

Invasive Species Ireland

Invasive Species Ireland