Landcare Research - Manaaki Whenua

Landcare-Research -Manaaki Whenua

Guide to New Zealand's freshwater invertebrates

Flatworms ( Dugesiidae : Cura )

Diagnostic features

The dugesiid flatworms are related to the land flatworms, and are characterised by highly flexible bodies that are usually (but not always) flattened. Cura (probably our most common flatworm) has two obvious eyes on top of the head, but unlike the “mountain flatworm” Neppia, Cura lacks ear-like auricles protruding from the sides of the head.

Typical habitats

Cura is found in many lowland, soft bottom and hard bottom, farmland and urban streams.


They are predators of other freshwater invertebrates, including snails and worms.

Indicator value

Cura is found in a wide range of streams, including urban streams with only moderate to poor water quality. This genus has not been assigned tolerance values, but the Phylum Platyhelminthes, which includes Cura, has been assigned low tolerance values of 3 (hard bottom sites) and 0.9 (soft bottom sites).