Newly-discovered freaky flatworm with hammerhead is named after COVID

Behold, Humbertium covidum! Scientists from the National Museum of Natural History, France and colleagues named this newly-discovered predatory flatworm "as homage to the numerous casualties worldwide of the COVID-19 pandemic," they write in their research paper. "Furthermore, a large part of this study was written during the lockdowns." From Science Alert:

H. covidum is small, around 3 centimeters long (just over an inch), and metallic black in color with no stripes or other ornamentation, which is rare for flatworms. It was found in a couple of gardens in France and Italy.

The researchers also describe the worms' genitals in considerable detail, which is an important method for telling apart the different species and subfamilies. All flatworm species are hermaphroditic, so their reproduction can be either sexual or asexual[…]

"H. covidum is probably a species originating from Asia and is an alien species in Europe," the team writes.

"Whether it will become an invasive species needs to be monitored in the future."