Convoluta roscoffensis is a translucent flatworm which appears to be green due to the colony of algae which breeds and dies within it. Because of these photosynthetic partners, the worm no longer needs to find its food own food. It's a beautiful 'living' example of a true symbiosis.

I'm currently reading 'Symbiotic Planet' by Lynn Margulis and I'm fascinated by this creature. How common are these flatworms? I'd love to see one; so I tried to find a fish breeder or something of that sort online.

How would you guys suggest getting a hold of a few? I'm pretty sure they are only found on the shores of western Europe. Does anyone know of any companies that provide them whether it be for research or as a pet (online breeders)?

Thanks for reading,
Dan
 
A

Anonymous

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Carl Sagan Returns":1bacd54p said:
Convoluta roscoffensis is a translucent flatworm which appears to be green due to the colony of algae which breeds and dies within it. Because of these photosynthetic partners, the worm no longer needs to find its food own food. It's a beautiful 'living' example of a true symbiosis.

I'm currently reading 'Symbiotic Planet' by Lynn Margulis and I'm fascinated by this creature. How common are these flatworms? I'd love to see one; so I tried to find a fish breeder or something of that sort online.

How would you guys suggest getting a hold of a few? I'm pretty sure they are only found on the shores of western Europe. Does anyone know of any companies that provide them whether it be for research or as a pet (online breeders)?

Thanks for reading,
Dan

These Acoel Flatworms are found in massive numbers in Europe, almost plague proportions. The problem with these animals as with most nudibranches and flatworms is that they are specialized predators. In a home aquarium you could only keep adults. The young feed on the macroalgae genus: Tetraselmis and without it they will starve to death. Once the flatworm reaches adulthood they live by photosynthesis. If your flatworms decide to reproduce the young will die without a steady source of the macroalgae.
Now on the other hand if I recall the company: http://www.brineshrimpdirect.com sells a Tetraselmis Algae Paste that may work on feeding the young.
If they do breed and survive what numbers would they reach in a home aquarium and what would you do with them?


Regards,
David Mohr
 
Thanks for the reply!

I'm not sure how fast they reproduce, but they are small (up to 15mm) so a lot wouldn't matter, even with a small tank.

What would I do with them?

Study them, most likely...nothing serious. I'm a bio student and I think it'd be cool seeing them squirm about, considering the fascinating relationship this creature is a part of.

You'd think it'd be easy to get some, since they're so abundant in England and France. The problem is gonna be finding someone to ship em to me.

Thanks again,
Dan
 

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