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worms > Phylum Platyhelminthes > Class Turbellaria > Order Polycladida
Red-lined flatworm
Maritigrella virgulata*
Family Euryleptidae
updated Feb 2020

Where seen? Sometimes seen on some of our shores, among coral rubble near living reefs, usually at night. 'Virgulatus' in Latin means 'striped'.

Features: 5-7cm long. Body cream-white to beige with a pattern of fine black bars of unequal length along the edges with a thin broken orange or red line along the centre. Has a pair of tentacles that extend like flaps at the front of the body.

What does it eat?
Maritigrella flatworms eat ascidians by sucking out each individual ascidian with a tube-shaped pharynx (a part of the gut) that can be pushed out through the mouth to engulf the prey.

Pulau Semakau, Oct 09

Photo shared by Loh Kok Sheng on his blog.

Pulau Jong, Jul 07

*Species are difficult to positively identify without close examination.
On this website, they are grouped by external features for convenience of display.

Red-lined flatworm on Singapore shores
On wildsingapore flickr

Other sightings on Singapore shores

Little Sisters Island, Feb 15
Photo shared by Loh Kok Sheng on his blog.

St. John's Island, Sep 09
Photo shared by James Koh on his blog.

St. John's Island, Jan 20
Photo shared by Joleen Chan on facebook.

St. John's Island, Apr 22
Photo shared by Jianlin Liu on facebook.

Pulau Jong, Apr 15
Photo shared by Neo Mei Lin on his blog.

Pulau Jong, Jun 19*
Photo shared by Loh Kok Sheng on facebook.

Terumbu Raya, Sep 19
Photo shared by Dayna Cheah on facebook.

Terumbu Raya, Sep 2019

Pulau Sekudu, Jul 2019

With grateful thanks to Leslie H. Harris of the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County for comments on this worm and its identification.

Grateful thanks to Rene Ong for sharing details and identifying the flatworms on this page.


  • Rene S.L. Ong and Samantha J.W. Tong. 29 October 2018. A preliminary checklist and photographic catalogue of polyclad flatworms recorded from Singapore. Nature in Singapore 2018 11: 77–125.
  • Newman, Leslie and Lester Cannon. 2003. Marine Flatworms: The World of Polyclads. CSIRO Publishing. 97pp.
  • Kuiter, Rudie H and Helmut Debelius. 2009. World Atlas of Marine Fauna. IKAN-Unterwasserachiv. 723pp.
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