The New Guinea flatworms have earned a spot on the 100 worst invasive alien species list.
The slippery species is 50 millimeters (2 inches) long and 5 millimeters (0.2 inches) wide. Its back is a black olive color with a thin medial pale line, and it has a pale white belly where the mouth is located.
The flatworm has now been found in a total of 22 countries and territories around the world.
These worms consume rats and mice and where they can enable to infect them with
lungworm. From there, the infections are then transmitted to human beings who are exposed to any air particles that have been contaminated by the rodent droppings.
Just by vomiting, humans can also be infected by them because as the vomit secretes a toxin
that can easily corrode human skin.
Dr. Piero Genovesi, senior conservation officer at the Institute for Environmental Protection and Research, stated that “It is crucial that we enforce more effective biosecurity policies, for example treating soils and machineries before moving them around the world, but also
regulating more effectively the intentional movement of species for biocontrol or for other
“A more effective control of the movements of goods should be seen as an investment, as we know that invasive species cause huge economic losses globally as well as major health
problems,” he added.