Giant predatory worms from tropical parts of Asia that have stealthily invaded French gardens pose a threat to local wildlife, scientists are warning.
The voracious creatures have infiltrated gardens across the country and also French territories.
A new study has collected reports of the unusual creatures, which are known to grow up to 40cm in length.
Despite their size, these unusual creatures would have gone completely unnoticed were it not for the efforts of amateur naturalist Pierre Gros who took a photograph of an unidentified worm in 2013.
“This photograph was sent from email to email to email and finally it came to me,” Professor Jean-Lou Justine, a zoologist at the French National Museum of Natural History told The Independent.
“I looked at it and said ‘Well, this is not possible – we don’t have this kind of animal in France’.”
“What we know now is that there are invasive flatworms almost everywhere in metropolitan France,” he said.
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It seems that they might have come from old French colonies in South-East Asia.