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Vie

Three flatworms from the Visayan Sea...

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Any help with these flatworms would be greatly appreciated!

 

All three seen near Malapascua Island (near Cebu), Visayan Sea (Republic of the Philippines).

 

First one was seen swimming at around 3m depth above Monad Shoal.

 

Second one seen at the Dona Marilyn wreck.

 

Third one was SO small, colour was almost black. Found at "Lighthouse," near Malapascua, during night dive.

post-19874-1257751069.jpg

post-19874-1257751083.jpg

post-19874-1257751094.jpg

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Hi Vie -- The first one looks like it might be Pseudobiceros flowersi - thin white margin, brown submargin, tan body, & white streak down the middle. Is the second one really blue in the middle or is that an effect of the light? The brown & black marginal spots are similar to those of Pseudoceros leptistichus but that has black, brown & orange spots down the middle (I guess this could be a light colored individual). I'm unsure enough that if it were my image I'd leave it as unidentified flatworm. Third - which is a couple of millimeters in diameters? - I'm not going to touch, sorry!

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Thank you for your help again, Leslie!

 

Is the second one really blue in the middle or is that an effect of the light? The brown & black marginal spots are similar to those of Pseudoceros leptistichus but that has black, brown & orange spots down the middle (I guess this could be a light colored individual). I'm unsure enough that if it were my image I'd leave it as unidentified flatworm.

 

No, it's not really blue in the middle - that's just bad photography! I've attached another view of the same animal (see below).

 

Also found a good match (unfortunately no ID) on Wolfgang Seifarth's Marine Flatworms of the World! website.

 

http://www.rzuser.uni-heidelberg.de/~bu6/flat0363.html

 

Third - which is a couple of millimeters in diameters? - I'm not going to touch, sorry!

 

White specks - Pseudoceros josei or kylie, possibly?

post-19874-1257858470.jpg

Edited by Vie

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Wow, that really is a big difference in color from your first shot But that's a really good match for the image on Seifarth's site.

 

Josei or kylie are certainly 2 possibilities. One of the big problems for amateurs like us in trying to put names on pictures is that we don't know what the differences are, how the animals change as they grow, the extent of variation for each species, or how many species share the same general color pattern. That's why I tend to say things like " it resembles", "might be", "similar to this picture" rather than "it is". In general the smaller the animals are the less we know about them.

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Josei or kylie are certainly 2 possibilities. One of the big problems for amateurs like us in trying to put names on pictures is that we don't know what the differences are, how the animals change as they grow, the extent of variation for each species, or how many species share the same general color pattern. That's why I tend to say things like " it resembles", "might be", "similar to this picture" rather than "it is". In general the smaller the animals are the less we know about them.

 

Very good points, Leslie, but "amateurs like us" ?? Amateur like me, yes - but you're an expert. Are you just being modest? :blush:

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Just being honest. I'm an expert only on polychaete worms. For everything else I'm an amateur who loves inverts but doesn't dive. that means while all of you spend your free time out diving & seeing the real thing I'm sitting & looking at pictures :blush:

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