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Land Planarian ( Flatworm )

Bipalium Kewense

Description:

Bipalium Kewense, is a species of large predatory land flatworm, of the family Geoplanidae, sometimes referred as "hammerhead slug", due to its half-moon-shaped head. It has been found spanning the entire southern portion of North America. B. Kewense, is a known predator of earthworms. Bipalium, is a genus of large predatory land flatworms, terrestrial planarians. They are loosely called, "hammerhead worms", or "broadhead planarians", because of the distinctive shape of the head region. Land planarians, are unique in that they possess a "creeping sole" on there ventral side. Bipalium species are predatory. Some species, prey on earthworms, while others feed on mollusks. Common name: Land Planarian. Land planarians, are soft, bilaterally symmetric, cicoelomate, dorsally-ventrally flattened worms. Colors of Florida species, range from greenish-grey to brown, with dark narrow stripes on the dorsal side. Bipalium kewense, is recognized by its pale color, and it's dorsal, dark, median line, dark patch in the neck region, and it's expanded lunate head. This species, may attain lengths up to 30 cm. Eggs are deposited in 0.6 to 9.7 cm. cocoons, that are bright red when deposited. Movement and feeding occur at night. High humidity is essential for survival. Land planarians, are most abundant in the spring, and in the fall. Land planarians, devour earthworms, slugs, insect larvae, and are cannibalistic. I saw this worm, on my front door. It was traveling slowly, down the front door. This worm was wet, and as it moved, it left a trail of slime behind it. This worm was two inches long, and one eighth of an inch wide. It had a black head. A small area below the head, and on its neck, was also black. The body of this worm, was a medium brown color. I saw a black line, running down the entire length of its body. Underneath, its body was light brown in color.

Habitat:

I saw this worm, on my front door. Land planarians, thrive in high temperatures and humidity, thus are widely distributed in tropical and subtropical areas. Because land planarians are photo-negative during daylight hours and require high humidity, they are found in dark, cool, moist areas under objects, such as rocks, logs, debris, or under shrubs, and on the soil surface following heavy rains. Land planarians, are also found in caves.

Notes:

I went outside at 6:00 a.m. in the morning, looking for insects. I saw this worm, on my front door. It was traveling slowly, down the front door. This worm was wet, and as it moved, it left a trail of slime, behind it. This worm, was two inches long, and one eighth of an inch wide. It had a black head. A small area below the head, and on its back, was also black. The body of this worm, was a medium brown color. I saw a black line, running down the entire length of its body. Underneath, its body was light brown in color.

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maplemoth66
Spotted by
maplemoth66

Florida, USA

Spotted on Jun 13, 2015
Submitted on Jun 14, 2015

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