Notoplana australis ( Schmarda, 1859 ) Bock, 1913

Holleman, John J., 2007, Some New Zealand Polyclads (Platyhelminthes, Polycladida), Zootaxa 1560, pp. 1-17 : 5-7

publication ID 10.5281/zenodo.178319

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Notoplana australis ( Schmarda, 1859 ) Bock, 1913


Notoplana australis ( Schmarda, 1859) Bock, 1913

( Figures 7–9 View FIGURES 7 – 9 )


Leptoplana australis ( Schmarda, 1859) Diesing, 1862 ; Leptoplana australis Laidlaw, 1904 ; Leptoplana australis Haswell, 1907 , Leptoplana suteri ( Jacubowa, 1906) Bock, 1913 ; Notoplana australis forma huima Marcus, 1954.


Specimens were collected on the North Island from Whangateau Harbor on the mud flats; Point Chevalier, Auckland under rocks; under rocks in front of Island Bay Marine Laboratory and Karaka Bay, Wellington; and Castle Point. Specimens were collected from the Kaikoura peninsula on the South Island.


External features: The specimens have an elongate oval form with the largest specimen measuring 55mm long and 32mm wide when at rest. Smaller specimens were 20mm long and 8mm wide. Tentacles are wanting. The dorsal surface varies from a light brown to dark brown to a greenish brown to a light grey. The green coloration was observed in branches of the digestive system. The ventral surface is a translucent grey. Tentacular eyes number 56 to 60 in each cluster with smaller cerebral eyes numbering 75 to more than 100 in each cluster that begin behind the cerebral organ and extend anteriorly toward the margin. The pharynx is centrally located with the mouth in the posterior half of the pharyngeal pocket. The pharynx has seven to thirteen pairs of heavy folds. The intestinal branches do not anastomose.

Reproductive anatomy: The sperm ducts course posteriorly parallel to the pharynx. At a point anterior to the male gonopore they turn medially entering the seminal vesicle separately at its posterior aspect. The seminal vesicle is a small ovoid shape with a thick muscular wall with the ejaculatory duct exiting the anterior end curving dorsally to enter the large chambered prostatic vesicle. The ejaculatory extends a considerable distance into the prostatic vesicle continuing anteriorly to curve into the dorsal aspect of the heavily muscularly male antrum entering a small penis papilla. Attached to the small penis papilla is a heavy, long and curved penis stylet which extents beyond the antrum. The female gonopore is located a short distance posterior from the male gonopore leading into an ascending vagina expands with numerous convolutions, side channels, pockets and projections of the thick lining. The vagina curves anteriorly with a slight ventral curve then continues dorsally before turning ventrally to receive the common oviduct. The anterior directed portion of the vagina is surrounded by extensive shell glands. The vagina continues posteriorly after the union with the common oviduct as the duct of Lang’s vesicle. The lining of the duct has a series of annular constrictions before entering the large Lang’s vesicle.


The reproductive structures, male and female, have been extensively described and illustrated by Haswell (1907 b), Bock (1913), Hyman (1959 a) and Prudhoe (1982). There are several differences in their descriptions. Bock (1913) states that the penis papilla is of moderate length while Hyman (1959 a) states that the stylet arises from a rounded penis papilla. Haswell (1907 b) states that the penis papilla “… is of great length.” The New Zealand specimen has a small papilla. The muscular male antrum is similar to that illustrated by Bock (1913) which is thicker than indicated by Haswell (1907 b). The convolutions of the vagina are more extensive than indicted by Bock (1913) and Haswell (1907 b).

Three specimens, one as a stained wholemount, a second as cleared wholemount and one specimen with the posterior half as a set of serial sagittal slides have been deposited with the California Academy of Science, CAS Nos. 174336, 174337 and 174338 respectively.


California Academy of Sciences














Notoplana australis ( Schmarda, 1859 ) Bock, 1913

Holleman, John J. 2007

Leptoplana suteri ( Jacubowa, 1906 ) Bock, 1913

(Jacubowa, 1906) Bock 1913

Leptoplana australis

Haswell 1907

Leptoplana australis

Laidlaw 1904

Leptoplana australis ( Schmarda, 1859 ) Diesing, 1862

(Schmarda, 1859) Diesing 1862