Schmidtea mediterranea

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Schmidtea mediterranea
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Platyhelminthes
Class: Turbellaria
Order: Tricladida
Family: Dugesiidae
Genus: Schmidtea
Species: S. mediterranea
Binomial name
Schmidtea mediterranea
Benazzi, Baguñà, Ballester, Puccinelli & Del Papa, 1975
Smed distribution.png
Distribution of S. mediterranea
(Western Mediterranean)[1]
  • Dugesia mediterranea
    Benazzi, Baguñà, Ballester, Puccinelli & Del Papa, 1975

Schmidtea mediterranea is a freshwater planarian that lives in southern Europe and Tunisia.[2] It is a model for regeneration and development of tissues such as the brain and germline.[3][4]


Schmidtea mediterranea is found in some coastal areas and islands in the Western Mediterranean: Catalonia, Menorca, Mallorca, Corsica, Sardinia, Sicily and Tunisia.[2][5][6][7][8]


High water temperatures (25-27 °C) have deleterous effects on S. mediterranea populations, while variations in the pH of the water (6.9-8.9) don’t seem to have an important influence on the survival of this species.[2]

S. mediterranea can be found with associated fauna such as gastropods, bivalves, insects, leeches, and nematodes.[2]


The sexual specimens of Schmidtea mediterranea produce cocoons between November and April. In May, when water temperature rises above 20 °C, they lose their reproductive apparatus. Despite this, they don’t reproduce asexually (by fissiparity) during the summer months.[2]


  1. ^ E.M. Lazaro, A.H. Harrath, G.A. Stocchino, M. Pala, J. Baguna, M. Riutort, Schmidtea mediterranea phylogeography: an old species surviving on a few Mediterranean islands?, BMC Evolutionary Biology. 11 (2011) 274.
  2. ^ a b c d e Abdel Halim Harrath, Mohamed Charni, Ronald Sluys, Fathia Zghal & Saida Tekaya (2004). "Ecology and distribution of the freshwater planarian Schmidtea mediterranea in Tunisia". Italian Journal of Zoology. 71 (3): 233–236. doi:10.1080/11250000409356577. 
  3. ^ Salo E, Baguñà J: Regeneration in planarians and other worms: New findings, new tools, and new perspectives. Journal of Experimental Zoology 2002, 292(6):528-539.
  4. ^ Reddien PW, Sanchez-Alvarado A: Fundamentals of planarian regeneration. Annu Rev Cell Dev Biol 2004, 20:725-757.
  5. ^ Benazzi M, Baguñà J, Ballester R, Puccinelli I, Papa RD: Further Contribution to the Taxonomy of the Dugesia lugubris-polychroa Group with Description of Dugesia mediterranea n. sp. (Tricladida, Paludicola). Bolletino di zoologia 1975, 42(1):81-89.
  6. ^ Ribas M: Cariologia, sistematica i biogeografia de les Planaries d'aigues dolces al Països Catalans. 1990.
  7. ^ Baguñà J. Carranza S, Pala M, Ribera C, Giribet G, Arnedo M, Ribas M, Riutort M: From morphology and kariology to molecules. New methods for taxonomical identification of asexual populations of freshwater planarians. A tribute to Professor Mario Benazzi. Italian Journal of Zoology 1999, 66:207-214.
  8. ^ De Vries EJ, Baguñà J, Ball IR: Chromosomal polymorphism in planarians and the plate tectonics of the western Mediterranean. Genetica 1984, 62:187-191.

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