I was pretty happy after finding the terebellid worms this trip. I would have been fine if that was the only cool new species we’d found.
Then I saw this interesting shape on the same rock as the worms. The shape didn’t look like the species in the above photo; it looked more like a shiny smudge. I had a container on this trip and tried to see if the creature would go in it.
It did, and it looked like it expanded. It turns out is carpet flatworm, also known as Thysanozoon brocchii. It is always brown with white spots. Sometimes they can be a lot paler, but the white spots are diagnostic. These spots are scattered all over the flatworm.
I saw two different specimens of this flatworm on separate days this trip. This was fascinating. Like the terebellid worms, I had never seen these before!
I’m very keen to learn more about flatworms. It may not be the smartest decision: some need to be dissected to be identified. But they are so much fun.