Hancock's Flatworm

Pseudobiceros hancockanus

Flatworms are mostly small and easily overlooked, but some can be spectacularly beautiful. Although still poorly studied, at least some are known to be very toxic, and therefore the bright colours could be a form of warning to fish not to eat them. This species is one of the larger flatworms growing up to 14 cm long. It is often found crawling about during the day, and swimming with an exaggerated flapping, undulating motion. Commonly found on sponges in coral reefs, they are thought to feed on small invertebrates living in the sponge's water canals and not the sponge itself.

Common on Queensland reefs.

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