, Volume 310, Issue 2, pp 151-156

The freshwater planarian Dugesia sicula Lepori from Sardinia (Platyhelminthes, Tricladida)

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Abstract

Fissiparous strains of freshwater triclads of the Dugesia gonocephala group were collected from 12 localities in Sardinia all situated not more than 5 kilometers from the coast. Some environmental factors and the sexual status of the specimens were noted at the time of collection. During the laboratory rearing 30% of individuals of each strain became sexual (ex-fissiparous individuals). All the examined strains showed common karyological and morphological characteristics suggestive of the species Dugesia sicula Lepori. The chromosome complement, which was a constant 27+2–3 B chromosomes, was classified as aneutriploid, due to its clearly documented characteristics. The fissiparous populations of D. sicula appear to have a high degree of tolerance to variations in environmental factors, especially temperature. Within the D. gonocephala group this species has the broadest distribution in the Mediterranean region.