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Flatworm ID Help needed


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#1 kdietz

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Posted 01 October 2004 - 12:44 PM

Please check out image #88 in our Wakatobi Gallery at wwwww.kdietz.com and let me know if you know what kind of flatworm this is.....

Thanks for any help

Karl
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#2 frogfish

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Posted 01 October 2004 - 03:39 PM

It looks like it must be a Pseudoceros sp., but which one. Very similar to P. dipiliktabub, except that for the color of the marginal band, bluish instead of yellow/orange.

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#3 kdietz

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Posted 02 October 2004 - 02:59 AM

Robert, with some white balance on the german photo ..that could be it....a google search of pseudoceros dipiliktabub only yielded one match....makes me wonder how the German fellow id'd it?

How did you find it?

Karl
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#4 Leslie

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Posted 02 October 2004 - 10:58 AM

I considered that name for #88 & discarded it. Koehler's picture looks a little overexposed but is it really in need of white balance? Besides being edged in yellow the underside of Koehler's P. depiliktabub is blackish-gray while the exposed underside of Karl's animal is the same blue as the top margin. There's a picture of P. depiliktabub (yellow margins again) in the flatworm bible, "Marine Flatworms: the world of polyclads" by Leslie Newman & Lester Cannon - and it ought to be id'ed correctly since Newman & Cannon described it. Karl, you might want to contact Leslie Newman directly for help with this one. She's at Southern Cross University, New South Wales.
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#5 frogfish

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Posted 02 October 2004 - 05:04 PM

P. dipiliktabub (Newman & Cannon 1994) is #350 in Gosliner, Behrens and Williams "Coral Reef Animals of the Indo-Pacific (Monterey: 1996), a good general id book for marine inverterates. There are 55 polyclad flatworms, with id and distribution data. Newman and Cannon are credited for original descriptions for a lot of them - basically every polyclad listed that was described in 3 years before publication. Most distribution ranges for polyclads id's by Newman & Cannon are Papua New Guinea, and most were listed as described in 1994, so I assume they did a a major trip to PNG that year or the year before.

The photo used in this volume is credited to Newman and Andrew Flowers. The id section specifies that the color of the marginal band is yellow cream with a bright orange rim..

There are clearly a lot of undescribed polyclads out there. In a field this little known, questions of what constitutes color variation within a species (or not) are not always going to have hard and fast answers.

The distribution ranges initially given for recently described species will also require revision as new examples are found. (Remember when people thought Pygmy Seahorses (H. barbiganti) could only be found a few places in Eastern Indonesia?)

We're just beginning to understand the way that the Indonesian Throughput and other currents affect distribution of species, endemism and genetic exchange within the larger Indo-Pacific area.

TNC's Southeast Asia Center for Marine Protected Areas has recently come up with a list of 11 distinct ecoregions within the larger Indo-Pacific "Coral Triangle" (encompassing all of Indonesia and the Philippines, plus most of PNG and part of Malaysian Borneo). It's based in part on earlier work by Gerry Allen. Within these eco-regions, they are identifying highly inter-connected "functional seascapes" which in turn will help in macro-level planning for establishing MPAs. These schema can also be very useful to divers and u/w photographers in terms of thinking about the patterns of marine biodiversity in this region.

For me, all this is a big part of the excitement of the Indo-Pacific - you can't always just look it up. There's a real possibility of seeing (and photographing) a previously undescribed species on almost every dive.

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