Hammerhead Worm (Bipalium)

Hammerhead Worm (Bipalium)

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They are originally from Asia. It’s an invasive species that probably hitched a ride via garden plants. They primarily hunt snails and earthworms and are also cannibalistic. They come in a wide variety of patterns and colors as you can see below.

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They have both male and female sex organs (hermaphroditic) and can self fertilize themselves (asexual) or reproduce sexually. They are also called land planarians as they are related to flatworms who usually live in aquatic environments. Like all planarians, they can be cut into multiple pieces and each piece can grow into an individual worm.

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The latest research shows that these worms also possess a neurotoxin. This means that when the worm attacks its prey, they may be able to immobilize it by attacking the nervous system. This has been seen in feeding behavior when the hammerhead worm attacks snails and earthworms.

 

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