Convoluta convoluta

Convoluta convoluta is a small acoel in the family Convolutidae. Native to the Baltic Sea, it invaded the Gulf of Maine in the late 1990s.[2]

Convoluta convoluta
A picture of Convoluta convoluta with an American Penny for scale.jpg
C. convoluta with a coin 19 mm in diameter
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Xenacoelomorpha
Order: Acoela
Family: Convolutidae
Genus: Convoluta
C. convoluta
Binomial name
Convoluta convoluta
Peter Christian Abildgaard, 1806. In: O.F. Müller, Zoologia Danica, 4.
  • Convoluta albicincta
    Schultze, 1851
  • Convoluta armata
    Graff, 1874
  • Convoluta diesingii
    Schmidt, 1852
  • Convoluta haustrum
    Dalyell, 1853
  • Convoluta infundibulum
    Schmidt, 1861
  • Convoluta johnstoni
    Diesing, 1862
  • Convoluta paradoxa
    Ørsted, 1843
  • Monotus albicinctus (Schultze, 1849)
  • Monotus diesingi Schmidt, 1861
  • Monotus johnstoni Diesing, 1862 (nomen nudum)
  • Monotus paradoxa
    Claperede, 1861
  • Planaria convoluta
    Abildgaard, 1806

Diet and symbiosisEdit

This flatworm consumes juvenile settling mussels and harpacticoid copepods.[3] It also engages in a symbiosis with a diatom of the genus Lichmophora,[4] which has also invaded the Gulf of Maine.

Impact and ecology in the Gulf of MaineEdit

In the Gulf of Maine, the impact of this species appears minimal as the habitat is presumably saturated with food, and the species is ultimately self-limited by species competition.[5] It also appears limited to wave-protected habitats, where it prefers filamentous algae.[5] In 2001, it occurred in densities of up to 19 per square centimeter.[2]


  1. ^
  2. ^ a b Rivest, Brian R.; Coyer, James; Tyler, Seth (1999). "The first known invasion of a free-living marine flatworm". Biological Invasions. 1 (4): 393–394. doi:10.1023/A:1010076418671. ISSN 1387-3547.
  3. ^ Mamkaev, Y.V., Seravin, L.N., 1963. Feeding habits of the acoelous turbellarian Convoluta convoluta (Abildgaard). Zoologicheskii Zurnal 42, 197–205
  4. ^ Apelt, G., 1969. Die Symbiose zwischen dem acoelen Turbellar Convoluta convoluta und Diatomeen der Gattung Lichmophora (In German). Marine Biology (Berlin) 3, 165–187
  5. ^ a b Byrnes, J.E. and Witman, J.D. 2003. Impact assessment of an invasive flatworm, Convoluta convoluta, in the Southern Gulf of Maine. Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology 203: 173–191