DSC_8037 Flatworm ('Australopacifica' sp.) 'digesting' a Common fern looper moth (Sestra flexata), on hounds tongue fern on an autumn night. Flatworms are acoelomates, which means they have no body cavity, and no specialized circulatory and respiratory organs. To feed, the animal extrudes a sheet-like digestive tissue through an 'opening' or pharynx, located halfway down the underside of the body. This tissue secretes a powerful enzyme which reduces its struggling victims body to a ghastly stew, and the nutrients are then absorbed. Once digestion is complete the digestive tissue is withdrawn back inside the body through the pharynx, and the animal moves on. Otago Peninsula.
DSC8037FlatwormAustralopacificadigestingCommon fern loopermothSestraflexatahounds tongue fernfeedFeedingpreyingkillingvictimpreyOtago Peninsula