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Prostheceraeus vittatus

(Montagu, 1815)

David Kipling More Prostheceraeus vittatus, still eating lightbulb sea squirts. Shallow wreck in Cleddau estuary, Wales, ~12m deep.

David Kipling Are these that different to the ones you get João Pedro?

João Pedro Silva No, those are most like the ones we find here, although I've only seen this species twice (including yesterday).

David Kipling I think we have them all! They are particularly common on silty habitats with lightbulb sea squirts. Vertical surfaces of wrecks seem to be a very good habitat for them. It gets called the Candy Striped Flatworm here.

João Pedro Silva Here the most common (by far) is Prostheceraeus roseus. And in Berlengas there are load of squirts so we see the flatworms by the dozen. http://www.flickr.com/photos/jpsilva1971/9462830326/

David Kipling Wow, I need sunglasses!

João Pedro Silva We always wear sunglasses... except on night dives.

Sheilah Openshaw obviously not a blues brother fan:-) but seriously there have been more light bulbs about this year than I've seen for years

Kate Lock I would love to see some of these purple ones!!! wow!

João Pedro Silva Anywhere in Portugal you can find them but especially in Berlengas.

Message posted on Seasearch Identifications on 08 Aug 2013
Tine Kinn Kvamme Prostheceraeus vittatus flatworm. Drøbak, Norway Canon G12 in Canon housing, internal flash + torch.

Ron Silver Cold water diving is not for me......Are you in a dry suit? :-D

Tine Kinn Kvamme Yes Ron. Def in a dry suit! Still, the photo is from yesterday and my buddy had a 7 mm wetsuit. 18 degrees celcius on the surface, about 11-13 degrees celcius at 18 meters. Still wearing my 3 mm wet gloves though.

Ron Silver Way too cold for this old warm water diver! Thanx for posting otherwise I would not see these critters.

Tine Kinn Kvamme My pleasure :) The drysuit will keep you quite warm actually.

Message posted on UWphotographers on 18 Sep 2013
Erling Svensen Tigerworm (Prostheceraeus vittatus) with eggs. Yesterdays dive, only 2 meters dept, South West Norway.

David Kipling Eggs - how interesting ! We call this species 'candy striped' in the UK. Eats sea squirts I believe?

Keith Hiscock Where are the eggs? I can only see what I think is an encrusting bryozoan.

Erling Svensen This is NOT an encrusting bryozoan. These are eggs. I can make a cropped vertion later if you want, Keith. I have seen this before (last year). If you look close inside the P. vittatus you can also see the eggs.

David Kipling Dawn: you mean like a circus performer?

Erling Svensen ??? Well - I have a good humor - but maybe this is too english for me ;-)

David Kipling There are some circus performers that eat electric lightbulbs (like sword swallowing). We normally see this worm eating Clavellina lepadiformis, common name Lightbulb Sea Squirt. Probably not as funny in Norwegian, sorry!

Erling Svensen Ahhh. I understand. I startet my underwaterphotographing using Nikonos III with lightbulbs - like Hell if you ask me. Much easier today - too easy I would say.

David Kipling We dived yesterday off a disused jetty in Milford Haven. Not used for > 50 years, metal structure is > 100 years old and crumbling. Sea bed littered with debris, lines, fishing gear. Current running and visibility was about 30cm at best. I'm happy for the camera work to be easier!

Neil Watson I saw this on the Volnay in Cornwall as well. Do you think that the worm is eating the sea squirt?

Wendy Northway probably - their favourite food is the light bulb squirt

Neil Watson Thanks. Chris Wood a while back you were looking for pictures of behaviours with certain species. If you want this let me know.

David Kipling Absolutely. These are major lightbulb predators.

João Pedro Silva Is that Prostheceraeus vittatus?

David Kipling Yes.

João Pedro Silva Here they're a lot paler: http://www.flickr.com/photos/jpsilva1971/9460089857/

Message posted on Seasearch Identifications on 07 Aug 2013
Animalia (Kingdom)
  Platyhelminthes (Phylum)
    Rhabditophora (Class)
      Polycladida (Order)
        Cotylea (Suborder)
          Euryleptoidea (Superfamily)
            Euryleptidae (Family)
              Prostheceraeus (Genus)
                Prostheceraeus vittatus (Species)
Associated Species