Discovery at Shepreth

PUBLISHED: 13:24 31 July 2012

Flatworm: Credit Brian Eversham

Flatworm: Credit Brian Eversham

Archant

A FLATWORM with around 60 eyes has been discovered at Shepreth L Moor Nature Reserve.

The worm is believed to be a completely new, undescribed species to Britain.

The discovery was found by Brian Eversham, chief executive of the Wildlife Trust for Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Northamptonshire.

Brian Eversham said: “I was taking wildlife pictures one Sunday morning and turned over a log to reveal this rather cute flatworm.”

Leading biology expert Dr Hugh Jones believes the flatworm is of antipodean descent but may carry out DNA testing to determine its exact ancestry.

Dr Jones had only seen one specimen of the species in the Netherlands in April this year before Mr Eversham’s discovery.

It is thought the flatworm could have originated from New Zealand or Australia.

Mr Eversham added: “It is likely to be a close relative of a species found in Northern Ireland called Kontikia andersoni.

“Britain is one of the best countries for documenting wildlife so it’s quite unusual to find a species here which has not been seen before.”

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