MarLIN

information on the biology of species and the ecology of habitats found around the coasts and seas of the British Isles

A flatworm (Procerodes littoralis)

Distribution data supplied by the Ocean Biogeographic Information System (OBIS). To interrogate UK data visit the NBN Atlas.

Summary

Description

Procerodes littoralis is a small free-living flatworm that reaches up to 7 mm in length. It has a flat and bilaterally symmetrical body. Flatworms are notoriously hard to identify in the field. However, Procerodes littoralis has a pale grey-brown dorsal colouring, and its body is widest at the posterior end. The head has a pointed tentacular lobe on either side. Three diverging stripes are visible in front of its small pair of eyes. Unlike similar species, Procerodes littoralis moves like a leech when disturbed, rather than moving smoothly.

Recorded distribution in Britain and Ireland

Recorded at a few locations off the coasts of Scotland, Anglesey (Wales) and south-west England but may be under recorded.

Global distribution

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Habitat

Often found on the smooth undersides of small boulders in gravel or sandy brackish seabeds.

Depth range

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Identifying features

  • Up to 7 mm in length, 1 mm in width.
  • Transverse bands on body are absent.
  • Pointed tentacular lobe on either side of the head.
  • Two well separated eyes.
  • Three diverging stripes on the head.
  • Three major branches to the gut, situated amongst multiple yolk glands.

Additional information

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Listed by

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Further information sources

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Bibliography

  1. Cannon, L.R.G. (ed.), 1995. Biology of Turbellaria & some related Flatworms: Proceedings of the VIIth International Symposium on the Biology of the Turbellaria, Abo/ Turku, Finland. Kluwer Academic Publishers.

  2. Hayward, P.J. & Ryland, J.S. (ed.) 1995b. Handbook of the marine fauna of North-West Europe. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

  3. Howson, C.M. & Picton, B.E., 1997. The species directory of the marine fauna and flora of the British Isles and surrounding seas. Belfast: Ulster Museum. [Ulster Museum publication, no. 276.]

  4. National Biodiversity Network (NBN) Atlas website. Available from: http://www.nbnatlas.org.  Accessed 01 April 2017

Citation

This review can be cited as:

Barnes, M.K.S. 2008. Procerodes littoralis A flatworm. In Tyler-Walters H. and Hiscock K. (eds) Marine Life Information Network: Biology and Sensitivity Key Information Reviews, [on-line]. Plymouth: Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom. Available from: http://www.marlin.ac.uk/species/detail/92

Last Updated: 22/05/2008