Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Abstract

First record of exotic terrestrial flatworms (Tricladida: Geoplanidae)Bipalium vagum Jones & sterrer, 2005 and Dolichoplana striata moseley, 1877 with confirmation of Platydemus manokwari de Beauchamp, 1963 in Jamaica.

Abstract

In recent years, there have been numerous reports of species of both exotic and invasive predatory flatworms (Geoplanidae) across several islands of the Caribbean. During the rainy season from September to November 2020, citizen scientists reported and submitted photographs of sightings of exotic species of flatworms across eight of 14 parishes in Jamaica. This stimulated a collection of 439 samples of land planarians which were photographed and carefully identified using morphologically distinguishing features. The collections included three exotic species not previously reported from any Jamaican ecosystem, namely Bipalium vagum, Dolichoplana striata and Platydemus manokwari. The economic, environmental, or social impacts of these worms in Jamaican ecosystems are unknown as these species, among other planarians, are poorly studied. This paper reports the potential implications of exotic flatworm invasion in Jamaica, with emphasis on P. manokwari which, according to the ISSG Global Invasive Species Database, is among the world's 100 worst invasive species. P. manokwari is also a known paratenic host species of a zoonotic parasite, Angiostrongylus cantonensis, which is the most common causal agent of eosinophilic meningitis in the world.