Highly invasive New Guinea flatworm spotted in U.S.


One the world's worst invasive species is the New Guinea flatworm, a double-pointed 2-inch-long worm that causes serious damage to bio diversity. And they've just made it to the U.S. This super flat worm is dark brown on top and pale gray on its underside with its mouth on its belly. It will climb trees to capture its prey – which are mostly snails. They can quickly devastate snail populations, thus hurting intricate ecosystems.

Because the worm feasts heavily on native mollusks, threatening their populations, the researchers write that “the newly reported presence of the species in mainland U.S. in Florida should be considered a potential major threat to the whole U.S. and even the Americas.”

Right now the New Guinea flatworm, also known as platydemus manokwari, is in Florida, probably brought here accidentally with plants, and eradicating it without hurting other species will be a challenge.