New Zealand flatworms in Paisley gardens
Appeared on Space For Nature on November 21st 2004
Gardeners around the Paisley area in Scotland are on the lookout for New Zealand flatworms, a troublesome alien which appears to be on the increase in the area.
The New Zealand flatworm (Arthurdendyas triangulatus), is not native to the UK and was first recorded in Belfast in 1963 and later around the Edinburgh area in 1956. This large worm is carnivorous, feeding largely on other terrestrial worms. It is considered a pest because of the damage it does to native worm populations and resulting negative impact on the soil ecology.
Sara Fenwick was weeding her garden in Paisley when a seven inch New Zealand flatworm wrapped itself around her gloved finger. She suspects that the worm came into her garden from plants she bought from a plant centre. The worms are not notifiable, but gardeners are advised to kill any they come across. A joint research project currently being undertaken by several academic and agricultural bodies in order to assess the risk and ultimately develop ways of dealing with the threat from this pest.
Back to home page
Do you live in Merseyside? Interested in its wildlife?