Overview

Comprehensive Description

Description

 Elongated worms 10–30 mm long and 7–15 mm wide. Body shape elongated, leaf-shaped, with pointed anterior and posterior ends, and with light undulating margins. Marginal tentacles well developed with whitish edges and pointed ends. Dorsal surface smooth. Background coloration whitish or ivory, with black, continuous stripes; between the stripes, black discontinuous lines are present (Figure 4C). Faint white band runs along the entire body margin (Figure 4A, B). Ventral side smooth and pale. Sucker in middle of body or slightly more posterior (Figure 4E). Cerebral eyes form two compact elongated, frontally anastomosing groups (Figure 4A). Tentacular eyes scarce and mainly at base of tentacles. Tubular pharynx near anterior end, oral pore in posterior region first quarter of the body. Male and female genital pores clearly separated and located behind the pharynx (Figure 4D, E).  Male copulatory apparatus with antero-dorsally oriented prostatic vesicle (Figure 4D, E). Male system consists of a short penis papilla armed with a small conical stylet, a true prostatic vesicle with a smooth glandular epithelium and a seminal vesicle with a thick muscle layer. Vasa deferentia join a dilated common vas deferens that opens into seminal vesicle. Copulatory complex lies forwardly oriented, and seminal vesicle opens through a small duct directly into distal end of prostatic vesicle.  Female system lies posterior to male pore and is characterized by a short, rounded female atrium and a cement duct or pouch. In our specimen, a second dilatation (so-called shell gland pouch) follows the atrium, into which shell glands open. Posteriorly-orientated vagina and numerous uterine vesicles are situated medially to this pouch.
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© Carolina Noreña, Daniel Marquina, Jacinto Perez, Bruno Almon

Source: ZooKeys

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Description

 Prostheceraeus vittatus is such a striking flatworm that it cannot be confused with any other. It may be mistakenly be identified as a sea slug due to the anterior tentacles and bright colouration. However, Prostheceraeus vittatus has none of the dorsal processes of the sea slugs, it is extremely thin (dorso-ventrally flattened) and the tentacles are formed by folds of tissue at the margin of the body. These features distinguish it from sea slugs. Prostheceraeus vittatus has a yellow-white or cream body with numerous dark longitudinal stripes. It crawls along the seabed using cilia and may swim by sinuous movements of the body.
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©  The Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom

Source: Marine Life Information Network

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Distribution

 Two specimens of Prostheceraeus vittatus were captured during this study. The first animal was collected from “A Tiñosa” (Ria de Arosa, Galicia, Spain) on a rocky bottom between Clavelina lepadiformis colonies, at a depth of 24 metres (42°32.8240N, 008°57.9920W). The other worm was found on stones in “Petón Bajo” (Ria de Arosa, Galicia, Spain), at a depth of 16 metres (42°32.9880N, 008°57.9920W).  Prostheceraeus vittatus is known from the North Atlantic coasts of the United Kingdom, France, Ireland, Scandinavia, Norway, Denmark, from the Mediterranean shores in Italy (Gulf of Naples) (Faubel and Warwick 2005) and Spain (Catalonia) (Novell 2003). This is the first record for the species from the North Atlantic side of the Iberian Peninsula.
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© Carolina Noreña, Daniel Marquina, Jacinto Perez, Bruno Almon

Source: ZooKeys

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Kingsbridge estuary, England
Collection date: 1815
Kind: type locality
Comments: Montagu had indeed discovered Prostheceraeus vittatus in Kingsbridge Estuary, South Devon, in 1815..

Scilly Islands (Sillies, Isles of Scilly), United Kingdom
Collection date: 1957 or earlier
Comments: from unpublished list, L.A. Harvey and P.C. Chapman, 1957.

Flat Ledge, Saint Martin's Island (St. Martins, Saint Martins), Scilly Islands (Sillies, Isles of Scilly), United Kingdom
Collection date: May 12-16, 2002
Depth: 28 m
Comments: Site 6, Flat Ledge (off the Day Mark), sublittoral. Sediment and aufwuchs settled on Laminaria holdfasts, algae, Porifera and Cnidaria were sampled. Sublittoral samples by SCUBA.

Port Hellick, Saint Mary's (Saint Marys, St. Mary's, St. Marys) Island, Scilly Islands (Sillies, Isles of Scilly), United Kingdom
Collection date: 1983 or earlier
Comments: Site 17, Porth Hellick rapids, St Mary's.

Stoke Point, United Kingdom
Collection date: 1883 or earlier
Depth: 27 m
Comments: off Stoke Point on Diazona in 15 fathoms (Mr. Cunningham).

Plymouth Sound (Sound, Plymouth-Sund), English Channel (Kanal La Manche), United Kingdom
Collection date: 1883 or earlier
Comments: in the Sound (Mr. Garstang).

Glesvær (Glesvaer), Hordaland, Norway
Collection date: 1878 or earlier
Comments: Findesteder: Florøen, Glesvaer, Bredevigen (Prof. M. Sars). Mandal (Dr. A. Boeck).

Mandal, Norway
Collection date: 1878 or earlier
Comments: Findesteder: Florøen, Glesvaer, Bredevigen (Prof. M. Sars). Mandal (Dr. A. Boeck).
  • Faubel A, Warwick RM. 2005.  abstract/note. The marine flora and fauna of the Isles of Scilly: Free-living Plathelminthes ('Turbellaria'). J Nat Hist 39:1-45.
  • Gamble FW. 1893. index card avail.
     . The Turbellaria of Plymouth Sound and the neighbourhood. Journ Marine Biol Ass (N S) 3 (1):18, 30-47.
  • Jensen OS. 1878. index card avail.
     . Turbellaria ad litora Norvegiae occidentalia. Turbellarier ved Norges Vestkyst. [In Norwegian]. J W Eided Bogtrykkeri, Bergen, 97 pp.
  • Montagu G. 1815. index card avail.
     . Description of several new or rare animals principally marine, discovered on the south coast of Devonshire. Trans. Linn. Soc. 11: 25-26, tab 5, fig 3. London 1815.
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© National Science Foundation - Turbellarian Taxonomic Database

Source: Turbellarian Taxonomic Database

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Ecology

Habitat

Depth range based on 15 specimens in 1 taxon.
Water temperature and chemistry ranges based on 2 samples.

Environmental ranges
  Depth range (m): 0 - 25.3
  Temperature range (°C): 11.851 - 12.270
  Nitrate (umol/L): 4.820 - 5.669
  Salinity (PPS): 35.343 - 35.352
  Oxygen (ml/l): 6.144 - 6.174
  Phosphate (umol/l): 0.373 - 0.414
  Silicate (umol/l): 2.442 - 2.643

Graphical representation

Depth range (m): 0 - 25.3

Temperature range (°C): 11.851 - 12.270

Nitrate (umol/L): 4.820 - 5.669

Salinity (PPS): 35.343 - 35.352

Oxygen (ml/l): 6.144 - 6.174

Phosphate (umol/l): 0.373 - 0.414

Silicate (umol/l): 2.442 - 2.643
 
Note: this information has not been validated. Check this *note*. Your feedback is most welcome.

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 Under stones on mud in the low intertidal and shallow subtidal. Has been observed by SCUBA crawling on sand in Plymouth Sound and off Dinas Head, Pembrokeshire (pers. obs.).
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Source: Marine Life Information Network

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