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Marine Animal Encyclopedia

Imitating Flatworm Pseudoceros imitatus

Unlike the majority of polyclad flatworms, which have a relatively smooth skin, the imitating flatworm has a bumpy surface covered in small pustules. This appearance is an imitation of the skin of the sea slug Phylidiella pustulosa, and the imitating flatworm’s color pattern is also almost identical to that of the sea slug. The sea slug secretes a noxious chemical to deter potential predators, and it may be that the imitating flatworm gains protection by looking and feeling to the touch like the distasteful sea slug.

Imitating Flatworm habitat mapzoom image
  • Class Turbellaria
  • Length Up to 1 in (2 cm)
  • Depth Not recorded
  • Habitat Coral reefs
  • Distribution Waters around New Guinea and northern Australia, perhaps more extensive