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 Post subject: Flatworm: Terrestial
Unread postPosted: Mon Jan 16, 2006 10:17 am 
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Location: Gauties .
Ok I got a pic of a very odd looking worm or something here .
Who can id this ?
Size about 30 cm , location Boksburg .

Image

Image

Im thinking alien's .


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Unread postPosted: Mon Jan 16, 2006 10:40 am 
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I've come across 2 of these criters about 10 years back. One was found in a water tank at a holiday home and the other one someone found in their garden.

If I remember correctly these "worms" are in the Class Hirudinea or leeches. Their normal habitat is in the mud of ponds etc.

Sorry I cannot help with more info than this.

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Unread postPosted: Mon Jan 16, 2006 10:48 am 
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Location: Gauties .
Thanks for the reply francoisd , the place I was staying had a small stormwater overflow dam near it and a plot , so I suppose that could be where it came from.


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Unread postPosted: Fri Jan 20, 2006 9:46 pm 
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A wild guess... a worm leech (Pharyngobdellida) :roll:

The reason I say this is because of the sucking disc (Acetabulum) on the posterior? side only. A worm leech has no jaws, teeth or sucking disc on the anterior side and therefore swallow the prey whole. Food consists of small invertebrates.

Something interesting.. most leeches feed as blood sucking parasites (sanguivorous), but some feed on invertebrates like the worm leech.

But like I said I am guessing at this stage and will have to check up on this...


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Unread postPosted: Sat Jan 21, 2006 2:37 pm 
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Hi guys! This had me stumped! :shock:

I had to contact a friend who are much more clued up on these things! I post his reply - in Afrikaans - at the bottom. Will try to translate the most important info!

This is a "landplanarium", Bipalium spp.

Phylum: Platyhelminthes (flatworms)
Class: Turbellaria

It is a type of flatworm. It is not a parasite! Most species in this class is aquatic. This specimen is however found on land, hiding beneath dead plant material, but always in wet areas. They feed on protozoa and other small organisms. It can reach around 60cm. in length.

You were quite lucky to see this, as it is not often seen! :wink:


Quote:
Die wurm is iets waarna wetenskaplik verwys word as ‘n landplanarium, Bipalium spp. Hulle behoort tot die Phylum Platyhelminthes (platwurms) en die Klas Turbellaria. Anders as die ander twee Klasse (Trematoda en Cestoda) is die Turbellaria vrylewend, m.a.w nie parasities nie. Die meeste is akwaties alhoewel sommige species, soos die en op die foto, landlewend is. Hulle is egter beperk tot baie klam omgewings waar hulle onder blare en ander planmateriaal lewe. Hulle voed op protozoa en ander klein organisms. Die landplanarias is die reuse van die Turbellaria en word tot 60 cm lank. In totaal is daar al iets soos 3 000 species turbelaria is beskryf.

Dit is egter nie iets wat mens elke dag sien.


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Last edited by Imberbe on Sat Jan 21, 2006 8:00 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Unread postPosted: Sat Jan 21, 2006 7:24 pm 
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hmm abit late but yeah thats a terrestrial flatworm

used to have some in our garden and before zoology entered the family we called it a shovel headed garden worm

they are not harmful as such to humans but they are a big nusance to gardeners because they are designed for the sole purposes of reproduction and earthworm predation, and are increadibly good at both! an unintentional introduction of them into a garden could even destroy the whole earthworm population within a few months. Bad news for the garden. but yes indeed a great sighting

only one discrepency though its not a Bispalum spp. its Bipalium spp.


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Unread postPosted: Sun Jan 22, 2006 8:50 pm 
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Location: Gauties .
:D This 1 had me baffled for a good many years , and with no real avenue for figuring out what it was .
Thanks for the identificaton to all those that got it right ,awesome knowledge that some folks on these forums have :D .

It did look gross , but was an extremely fascinating creature .
Amazing how every species will have a special predator to keep it in balance .


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