Pseudoceros ferrugineus (Hyman, 1959)
"Fuchsia Flatworm"
all photos: Pupukea, O`ahu. 20-30 ft.

Background color magenta covered with tiny white spots; inner marginal band red, outer marginal band bright yellow. This is one of the two most frequently seen flatworms in Hawai`i (along with Pseudoceros cf. dimidiatus). In my book I call it the "Fuchsia Flatworm." However, the large fuchsia-colored dorsal surface looks bluish at depth underwater. A camera strobe or flashlight will reveal it's "true" color, as in these photos. The species is active in the open by day and relatively common from Australia to Hawai`i.

The species name ferrugineus means "rusty" -- in reference to the red background color characteristic of specimens from the western Pacific. (The holotype is a specimen from Palau, Micronesia.) Hawaiian specimens are always magenta. Also, outside Hawai`i this worm often has ruffled margins. DNA studies might someday clarify the status of the Hawaiian population.

For the record, Newman & Cannon give this color description, based on specimens from outside Hawai`i: "Background body color dark red with white dots. Dots always obvious. Inner margin red without dots. Rim wide, orange."

BACK to solid color w marginal bands
BACK to mottled or speckled w marginal bands