East Anglia: New species of flatworm with 50-60 eyes discovered

A flatworm with between 50-60 eyes has been discovered at a nature reserve in Cambridgeshire.

The flatworm is believed to be a completely new, undescribed species to Britain.

Leading biology expert Dr Hugh Jones believes the flatworm is of antipodean descent but may carry out DNA testing to determine its exact ancestry.

Dr Jones has only seen one specimen of the species in the Netherlands in April this year before this discovery at Shepreth L Moor nature reserve.

It is thought the flatworm could have originated from New Zealand or Australia.

It was found by Brian Eversham, chief executive of the Wildlife Trust for Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Northamptonshire.

Mr Eversham said: “I was taking wildlife pictures one Sunday morning and turned over a log to reveal this rather cute flatworm.

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“It is likely to be a close relative of a species found in Northern Ireland called Kontikia andersoni. Britain is one of the best countries for documenting wildlife so it’s quite unusual to find a species here which has not been seen before.”

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