Have you seen this New Zealand ‘hitch-hiker’

Let us know if you’ve seen this ‘hitch-hiker’.

New Zealand flatworm (Arthurdendyus triangulatus) is an invasive flatworm in Ireland that eats our native earthworm species. It is most likely introduced and spread around Ireland as a hitch-hiker on potted plants and in contaminated soil. They are very flat, pointed at both ends, dark brown to black with pale speckled edges on top and pale speckled underneath. They are covered in a shiny sticky mucus and are often seen coiled. Their eggs are like small black shiny berries.

New Zealand flatworm, showing flattened body with pointed end segments -Aisling Nic an tSithigh
New Zealand flatworm, showing flattened body with pointed end segments -Aisling Nic an tSithigh
Coiled New Zealand flatworm showing its underside along with its egg - Sonya Oldham
Coiled New Zealand flatworm showing its underside along with its egg – Sonya Oldham

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In your garden look out for these flatworms under pots, stones or anything they can get under to stay out of the sun.

It is likely that these are far more widespread and common in Ireland than what we are aware of so please also report any sightings of these with a photograph through the Biodiversity Capture App or through the invasives online form: http://records.biodiversityireland.ie/ 

You can view and download an ID guide: http://www.biodiversityireland.ie/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/New-Zealand-Flatworm.pdf

See species profile: http://species.biodiversityireland.ie/profile.php?taxonId=187040&taxonName=arthurdendyus