Author Topic: Hammerhead Worm  (Read 150 times)

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Offline The15thMember

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Hammerhead Worm
« on: November 12, 2022, 06:22:41 pm »
My mom found a hammerhead worm in the garden today.  Has anyone else ever seen one of these?  They are a terrestrial flatworm that is invasive here.  They eat earthworms, snails, and slugs.  Hammerhead worms are covered in an extremely sticky mucus which contains tiny amounts of tetrodotoxin, the same toxin produced by pufferfish.  They are the only land invertebrate known to produce this type of neurotoxin.  They don't produce enough toxin to harm humans, but you should definitely wash your hands after touching them, because you wouldn't want to get their secretions in your eyes or mouth.  We killed the one we found by putting it in the freezer in some vinegar, since we didn't want it to eat the earthworms in our garden.  If you ever see one and want to kill it, don't cut it into pieces, as all the pieces will be able to regenerate into full worms.


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Offline Jen

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Re: Hammerhead Worm
« Reply #1 on: November 12, 2022, 11:16:27 pm »
Okay, I'm not a queasy person at all. But this worm is testing my unqueasiness  :laugh:
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Online Bakersdozen

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Re: Hammerhead Worm
« Reply #2 on: November 13, 2022, 08:42:33 am »
Where does the Hammerhead Worm originate from?  It would be good to know what climate it comes from.

Offline The15thMember

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Re: Hammerhead Worm
« Reply #3 on: November 13, 2022, 12:25:27 pm »
Where does the Hammerhead Worm originate from?  It would be good to know what climate it comes from.
I believe most are from Southeast Asia.  They are not a new invasive species in my area of the country; they have been in North Carolina since the 50s.  It's believe they were introduced to the US in shipments of exotic plants. 
I come from under the hill, and under the hills and over the hills my paths led.  And through the air, I am she that walks unseen.
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