Is this a nemertean? Pest control diagnosis assistance needed. - Dendroboard
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Old 05-25-2019, 09:56 PM
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Default Is this a nemertean? Pest control diagnosis assistance needed.

Hello all,
I have found a few of what I suspect to be nemerteans in my largest viv. 36x36x18 Apx Four Y/o. I am trying to decide if this is a flatworm, nemertian, or a type of slug. (Photos attached). I suspected that I had slugs because some of my plants are being eaten. However, I have been unable to find any slugs and to my understanding nemerteans do not eat plants. So, do I have multiple pests? Is this creature what is eating my plants? Or, am I missing something? Please send help.

Thank you much!
-Louie.

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Old 05-26-2019, 03:47 AM
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It looks like a terrestrial flatworm to me. What is the movement of it like when it moves? Does it toss its head around in circles? You can verify though by putting it in a separate container with a fruitfly. If theres a dead, dried out fruitfly later then sorry to break the bad news 😞

They boom/bust though so just remove them when you see them to control the population. I dont think theres really a way of fully getting rid of them other than tearing everything down
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Old 05-26-2019, 01:21 PM
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Default Re: Is this a nemertean? Pest control diagnosis assistance needed.

yes it is.....
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Old 05-26-2019, 01:34 PM
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Also if you have large isopods they could also be the ones eating your plants if there isnt enough food for their population
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Old 05-26-2019, 05:53 PM
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Default Re: Is this a nemertean? Pest control diagnosis assistance needed.

almost every single 'pest instance' is boom and bust and thru time and diligence with hand-removal, you will be OK / FINE.

Don't think about 'CO2 bombs' or tearing the viv down. Just take a deep breath and realize you frogs are not in danger, and you shall....overcome.
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Old 05-27-2019, 01:57 AM
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Default Re: Is this a nemertean? Pest control diagnosis assistance needed.

Greetings,

This is NOT a nemertean. This is a terrestrial flatworm - a planarian - Rynchodemus sylvaticus most likely. These guys have been introduced around the world and are common greenhouse critters. They will not harm frogs but they are capable arthropod and mollusk predators (eating snails and slugs is there only up-side).

People have been mis-identifying "nemerteans" on the dendroboard for years now. Although there are a few species of terrestrial nemerteans, they are virtually unheard-of in vivs and the vast majority are marine inhabitants.

Terrestrial flatworms do boom and bust but my experience suggests their reputation of obliterating your microfauna may be overblown. I have plenty of springtails, isopods, millipedes and amphipods in my leaf litter despite having flatworms.

They cannot be eliminated from a viv without a teardown and restart from fresh materials. I tried both repeated CO2 bombs and repeated applications of a flatworm-icide (Praziquantel) but was unable to eradicate them.

If you are seeing plant damage you could have a snail or slug problem. Earwigs will also eat fresh plant growth. Both of these predators will emerge when the lights go out so check your viv an hour or so after it goes dark.

Last edited by kimcmich; 05-27-2019 at 02:01 AM.
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Old 06-05-2019, 09:39 PM
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Thank you everyone for your input! I will take into consideration all of what's been said. It seems to me that the most authoritative response says flatworms. Which is certainly possible and has been my suspicion/hope. I will make a point to continue observing closely and mitigate the best I can. I will keep the board posted.

-Louie.
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Old 06-05-2019, 11:57 PM
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Default Re: Is this a nemertean? Pest control diagnosis assistance needed.

Flatworm, nematode, nemertarian....whatever it is you want it OUT.

I use a kleenex and hand remove whenever I see them. Usually right after misting and on smooth wet surfaces - glass or flat plants.

like all viv pests, they boom and bust. Just hand remove and eventually you will get on top of it.
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Old Today, 04:29 PM
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Default Re: Is this a nemertean? Pest control diagnosis assistance needed.

To whom it may concern,
It seems I no longer have whatever these were in the viv. If i do, they are not an issue and are seemingly busted. Yahoo!
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