The feeding biology of the immigrant triclad Phagocata woodworthi in Loch Ness, Scotland



Laboratory feeding experiments and a serological examination of the gut contents of field-collected triclads indicated that Phagocata woodworthi Hyman feeds heavily on oligochaetes. Its realized food niche also includes Asellus, caddisflies, molluscs, chironomids, stoneflies and mayflies. It is concluded that Ph. woodworthi is a considerable threat to the British triclad fauna, because of the considerable overlap in diet with native species, its fast reaction time to damaged prey, and its polypharyngeal state.