Common Name: Oyster Leech
Scientific Name: Stylochus inimicus
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Platyheminthes
Class: Turbellaria
Order: Polycladida
Family: Stylochidae
Genus: Stylochus
Species: L. stylochus free html hit counter
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An oyster leech looks like a big sand blob that has two holes on top of its head it. Has no other common name. It has retractable tentacles. It hides under rocks and algae or in oyster shells and other invertebrates. It tends to hide under debris or in shells of oysters and barnacles. Following mating, which may last nine hours and involve more than four partners, an individual can deposit 7,000–21,000 eggs during a summer month the eggs usually attach to clean oyster shells.
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They squirt digestive juices into the oysters or the other animals and suck their flesh out. They're very difficult to describe because if you try and pick them up with anything other than a very fine paintbrush they break in half. They look like sand at the bottom of the jar if you look at them. It also fences with its penis. It was found three meters underneath Kurnell Pier and attack the barnacles.
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The new flatworms are all hermaphrodites, meaning they have both male and female parts. To reproduce they try to stab each other with their genitals.
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Author Chance R
Publish: 02/2008
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Photo Credit: http://www.smh.com.au/ffximage/2006/01/20/flatworm2101_wideweb__470x374,0.jpg