Friday, November 25, 2011
Very Creepy, Very Crawly
As it turns out, it is a flatworm or land planarian, (Bipalium kewense). It preys upon earthworms, slugs, larvae and is even cannibalistic. Evidently it is Asian in origin and has been accidentally introduced around the world. It requires high humidity which probably explains why we only are seeing it on the roads in the early morning when it tends to be especially damp and/or foggy. How this invasive species arrived in our remote corner of Belize, we'll never know. Exotic species like this one can be hard to eradicate (how would you even go about it?) and often negatively impact local species. So interesting though this little creature is, it's not exactly a wonderful sign to have it here. If you want to learn more about Bipalium kewense, check it out here.