Allotment holders and gardeners in the Wellington area are being warned after a suspected siting of a predatory Australian Flatworm. The sighting of the flatworm – which feeds mainly on the common earthworm – was made at the Basins allotments.
Cllr Janet Lloyd, chairman of the town council’s allotments committee, said that details of what to look for had been circulated to allotment holders.
A report from the allotments committee said that Australian Flatworms ‘should be destroyed immediately’. Flatworms prey on earthworms and land snails, and in areas where they have already colonised the soil they have reduced some earthworm populations by 20%. Earthworms are regarded as vital to the structure and health of productive soil.
Cllr Lloyd added that one member of the committee had likened the Australian Flatworm to looking like an anchovy.