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A predator’s colors

Fotolab_parasita fotoBiologists still do not know why terrestrial planarians, which are more closely related to snails than to slugs, appear in such a wide variety of colors.  It’s known that most measure up to 30 centimeters in length, are found mainly on the floor of the Atlantic Forest, and have nocturnal habits that prevent dehydration. Planarians are predators that feed off earthworms, mollusks, three-banded armadillos and certain types of mites, among other animals.  From 2007 to 2014, Professor Fernando Carbayo and his students at the Ecology and Evolution Laboratory of the School of Arts, Sciences and Humanities at the University São Paulo (EACH-USP) collected forest samples from the states of Espírito Santo to Rio Grande do Sul for the purpose of advancing the study of neotropical species, up to now mostly unknown to science.

Photos submitted by Fernando Carbayo and Júlio Pedroni of EACH-USP.