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Nature & Environment

Giant predatory worms have invaded France

By T.K. Randall
May 22, 2018 · Comment icon 15 comments

Several species of predatory flatworm have set up home in France. Image Credit: CC BY-SA 3.0 Vengolis
Scientists have warned that huge worms up to 40cm long have been silently invading French gardens.
The exotic predatory invertebrates, which have managed to go almost completely undetected for years, are thought to have originated from populations transported from Asia in tropical plants.

One of the earliest pieces of evidence was a photograph of a flatworm taken by naturalist Pierre Gros.

"This photograph was sent from email to email to email and finally it came to me," said zoologist Professor Jean-Lou Justine from the French National Museum of Natural History.
"I looked at it and said 'Well, this is not possible - we don't have this kind of animal in France'."

Initially dismissing the image as a prank, he was startled to receive photographs of several other flatworm species all discovered within the same small garden.

"What we know now is that there are invasive flatworms almost everywhere in metropolitan France," he said. "I am still amazed - I don't understand how this is possible in a developed country."

Source: Independent | Comments (15)




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Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #6 Posted by ChaosRose 6 years ago
I was picturing Dune or Tremors. And then the thing was 40 lousy cm long.  Pfffft.
Comment icon #7 Posted by Tom the Photon 6 years ago
I'm sure the French will come up with a recipe for them.  "Ver plat à l'ail, monsieur?"
Comment icon #8 Posted by UFOwatcher 6 years ago
For those interested, 40 CM = 15.7480314961 inches. So what has changed in France?
Comment icon #9 Posted by TonopahRick 6 years ago
Hmmm...They might make good fish bait as long as they don't bite when you put them on a hook.
Comment icon #10 Posted by paperdyer 6 years ago
If frogs will eat these, the French should put a moratorium on eating Kermit for a while and release the frogs!  There has to be something that will eat the flat worms. Larger birds maybe?
Comment icon #11 Posted by WolfHawk 6 years ago
This is what I don't get:
Comment icon #12 Posted by Matt221 6 years ago
That's why I'm not a big fan of ragworm you pick them up to hook them and the cheeky little buggas nip you for your troubles
Comment icon #13 Posted by DanteHoratio 6 years ago
There is alot of animals who have invaded where they are not meant to, such as Cane Toads, Red Foxes, or Wild Boar.   What don't you get?
Comment icon #14 Posted by oldrover 6 years ago
Better than those giant exploding lug though.
Comment icon #15 Posted by WolfHawk 6 years ago
Wow, almost my whole comment is gone!  What I don't get is why living in a developed country should have an affect on worms invading gardens?


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