Pink Flatworm – Prostheceraeus roseus

Pink Flatworm Prostheceraeus roseus flatworms species Plathelminthes Mediterranean Sea scuba diving canary islands
Pink Flatworm – Prostheceraeus roseus
The Image was shot in spring time on La Palma. At this time of the year you may find lots of animals of the species in a small place.

The Pink Flatworm is a species from the phylum of Platyhelminthes. Prostheceraeus roseus was first described by Lang in 1884.

Description, Anatomy & Characteristics

The Pink Flatworm has a flat body, which is oval in shape. Its colour is dark pink to violet with irregular white stripes. At the head end there are two extensions. Its shape and colour is slightly variable.

It also grows up to 1.5cm long.

Habitat & Distribution

Prostheceraeus roseus lives on rocky ground in depths down to 50m. It can usually be found in shady reef areas.

It is very common when scuba diving in the Canary Islands. Especially in spring you can find many specimens in a small space in some places.

In addition, the distribution area of Prostheceraeus roseus extends over the Mediterranean Sea and the adjacent Atlantic Ocean.

Biology & Feeding

The Pink Flatworm is a predator. It feeds on a variety of creatures. These include moss animals, cnidarians, crustaceans, tunicates and other molluscs.

The mating ritual of Prostheceraeus roseus is very combative. Although they are hermaphrodites, each of them wants to be the male part. They ‘fight’ with their penises, each of which has two, like swords. The winner is the one who first injects his sperm into the other and the loser must carry the eggs.

Sources & Link