Sighting

Mark Ridgway 5 Jul 2013

Flatworm (Lenkunya adae)

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Sighted 14 Dec 2011
1 Mount Dandenong Tourist Road, Dandenong Ranges National Park, Tremont VIC 3785, Australia

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Identifications

  • Mark Ridgway 5 July 2013
    Seriata
    (order)
    Taxonomy: Animalia: Platyhelminthes: Turbellaria: Seriata
    Mark Ridgway says

    Found in a moist part of a state forest under a discarded piece of chipboard.

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Notes

  • Dr Leigh Winsor 27 August 2013
    Tagged With ada's flatworm
    Dr Leigh Winsor says

    I agree Mark that there is not all that much on the web on land planarians. Hugh Jones in the UK has a good site for species that occur there, a number of which are from Australia and New Zealand. There are perhaps a dozen or so researchers working on these animals, a few in the UK-Europe, and most in South America, especially Brazil. I cover Australia, New Zealand and subantarctic islands, and the Pacific, and undertake identifications for all sorts of places in SE Asia. Part of the difficulty with the taxonomy of flatworms is that you can only go so far on external features. The current classification is based on molecular evidence combined with traditional morphological evidence from the internal anatomy. The latter is elucidated by making serial slices 7 micrometers thin, mounting them on a glass slide, staining them to show the various tissue types, then reconstructing the internal anatomy. Texts generally refer to such histological practices as "laborious". It is not for the faint hearted!

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  • Mark Ridgway 27 August 2013
    Tagged With lenkunya adae
    Mark Ridgway says

    Thanks so much Leigh. It seems difficult to find good quality information on the net for these amazing creatures. I suspect they are unfairly ignored - so far.

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  • Mark Ridgway 27 August 2013
    Tagged With slices
    Mark Ridgway says

    It sounds like you could make good use of a miniature CT scan machine.

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  • Dr Leigh Winsor 28 August 2013
    Tagged With ct scanner
    Dr Leigh Winsor says

    Hi Mark - the sections are currently prepared using a microtome to section paraffin-embedded material. I would like to try using a miniature (bench) CT scanner to see whether it would provide a 3D image of the copulatory and other organs. They work well for dense tissues - bone, exoskeleton of insects. I am unsure how well they would work with less dense structures in planarians. Using a CT scanner might save a lot of work. Conventional histology is still required to identify tissues, glands and so on. I understand that there is a desktop CT scanner in I think the University of Adelaide. Will organize scanning time through the JCU Advanced Analytical Centre for when I am next in SA.

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  • Dr Leigh Winsor 27 August 2013
    Dr Leigh Winsor says

    Marks superb photos are of a beautiful species, Lenkunya adae, named by Arthur Dendy after his wife Ada "who has greatly assisted me in my search for cryptozoic animals". The species was originally found at Mount Macedon and at Warburton, it occurs throughout the eastern highlands, Victoria, and also in Tasmania. I suspect that there are in fact 2-3 species that all look much the same externally differing mainly in the overall colour of the broad greenish marginal stripes that may also be more brown coloured, but may well differ anatomically.

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