[Coral-List] Flatworm predators

oritbar at post.tau.ac.il oritbar at post.tau.ac.il
Fri Jun 9 04:37:56 EDT 2006

Hello Laetitia, Charles and coral listers,

I'v been working on similar worms inhabiting corals in Eilat (Red Sea). The
worms we have in Eilat were identified as belonging to the Phylum Acoelomorpha
and are not flatworms. My collegues Matthew Hooge, Maxina Ogunlana and Seth
Tyler from the University of Maine identified one new species isolated from the
coral Plesiastrea laxa. This new specie is called Waminoa brickneri (I can send
whoever is interested a PDF copy of its description.
I was observing many coral colonies inhabited by worms and also comparing the
surface area of colonies with and without worms and found out that no physical
damage is caused to the coral. I'm not at all sure that these worms are really
a pest...I hope I will have an answer very soon.
As for predators, I didn't see any fish (in the natural environment) that feeds
on them.

I hope this information helps

Orit Barneah
Zoolgy dept.
Tel Aviv University'

Quoting Charles Delbeek <delbeek at waquarium.org>:

> >From: laetitia colon <laetitia.colon at free.fr>
> >CC: coral-list at coral.aoml.noaa.gov
> >Subject: [Coral-List] Acropora pests : flatworm  and copepods
> >Date: Thu, 08 Jun 2006 15:47:50 +0200
> >
> >Hello Coral Listers,
> >
> >First of all, please excuse me by advance for my English.
> >I'm searching some informations on the Acropora flatworm pest, specially
> >if it has already been determined exactly.
> >The French aquarists are confronted more and more with this pest. And at
> >this time, the majority cannot identify the symptoms of an attack.
> >Levamisole seems to be the only effective product.
> >It seems also that we face an Tegastes acroporanus (?) introduction with
> >Acropora frags. But there's not too much informations available on it,
> >so I'm searching informations on symptoms and how to cure.
> >
> >thanks by advance
> >
> >Laetitia Colon
> Laetitia, Julian Sprung and I discuss this flatworm and treatments
> for it in The Reef Aquarium, volume 3, however, the Internet forum
> mentioned already is the best place to up to the minute information.
> In the TRA3, we discuss the possibility of using wrasses belonging to
> the genus Halichoeres to eradicate the worms. These have proven very
> successful in dealing with red flatworms (Convolutriloba retrogemma)
> infestations, but it is not clear if they would be effective with the
> Acropora flatworms. The two species I have experience with, H.
> melanurus and H. leucurus have been very effective.
> Aloha!
> J. Charles Delbeek M.Sc.
> Aquarium Biologist III
> Waikiki Aquarium,
> University of Hawaii
> 2777 Kalakaua Ave.
> Honolulu, HI, USA 96815
> www.waquarium.org
> 808-923-9741 ext. 0 VOICE
> 808-923-1771 FAX
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