Sighting

Carol Page 28 Apr 2017

Flatworm - Spencer's planarian

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Sighted 23 Apr 2017
Cambarville Rd, Cambarville VIC 3779, Australia

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Identifications

  • Carol Page 28 April 2017
    Turbellaria
    (class)
    Taxonomy: Animalia: Platyhelminthes: Turbellaria
    Carol Page says

    first two images by Reiner

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Notes

  • Dr Leigh Winsor 26 May 2017
    Dr Leigh Winsor says

    Great photos by Carol of a typical specimen of Spencer's planarian, Caenoplana spenceri, observed not far from the Type locality near McMahon’s Creek on the Upper Yarra. Of particular interest are the images showing the planarian in and emerging from what can be described as an aestivating state - here the planarian adheres itself firmly to the substratum by its mucus (silvery in the photos) and the exposed back is also protected by mucus appearing wrinkly-black in the images, minimizing desiccation. This species differs from C. walhallae in having a cobalt blue, not brown mottled ventral surface, and from members of the C. coerulea species complex as the latter have a single median dorsal white-yellowish stripe. Sir Baldwin Spencer, after whom this species was named, was at one time the first Professor of Biology at the University of Melbourne and a keen log-roller who among other things described seven species of land planarians including those of Lord Howe Island. Later on he was the Director of the then National Museum of Victoria. He is best known as an anthropologist, and sadly died in July 1929 at Murray Narrows, Hoste Island, Tierra del Fuego near Cape Horn where he was studying the Yaghan society (see "So much that is new - Baldwin Spencer 1860-1929 - a biography" by D.J. Mulvaney and J.H. Calaby).

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