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.
Only coastal and marine records shown

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. [cited 21-08-2018]. Available from: http://www.marlin.ac.uk/species/detail/92

Last Updated: 22/05/2008