Three New Land Flatworms Discovered in Brazil

Posted on January 9, 2017

Cratera aureomaculata and Cratera nigrimarginata flatowrms

Three new species of flatworms have been discovered in Brazil. The flatowrms were found on the forest floor in the Araucaria moist forest. The forest is part of the Brazilian Atlantic Rain Forest. The researchers say it is a hotspot of land flatworm diversity.

The flatworms all belong to the neotropical genus Cratera. They were all found during night samplings. The colorful new species Cratera aureomaculata is pictured the top image above along with the Cratera nigrimarginata species, which is a sold color with dark margins. The new species are named after characteristics of their color patterns.

The research study was conducted by the south Brazilian research group on triclads, led by Dr. Ana Leal-Zanchet, of the Universidade do Vale do Rio dos Sinos (UNISINOS), in southern Brazil. The dark colored Cratera cryptolineata flatworm is pictured below. A research paper on the new species was published here in the journal, ZooKeys.

The researchers say in their report, "The three new species herein described can be easily assigned to the genus Cratera Carbayo et al., 2013, by presenting its diagnostic features, such as ejaculatory duct forming a distal cavity in the penis papilla, position of the ovovitelline ducts by approaching the female atrium and funnel-shaped female atrium." The researchers also say, "By showing dorsal eyes and a cylindrical pharynx, the three species herein described share superficial similarities with four other species of Cratera."

Cratera cryptolineata

Photos: Ilana Rossi

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