FW: predatory terrestrial planarians

Joe Staton jstaton at oeb.harvard.edu
Fri Jan 23 08:47:42 EST 1998

>The flatworm is common at the UCLA Botanical Garden and specifically the
>compost pile.  While I was a grad student there eons ago, the story was
>that the turbellarians arrived with some of the plants that presently make
>up the gardens.  Do not know if the story is true, but it seems quite
>Also, I am dating myself but I heard this story in the early 1970's, and at
>that time, it was well established and a well-known denizen to the faculty
>and staff.
>Walter H. Sakai

I have collected it there, myself.  It's often crawling around on the
sidewalks after a winter rain.  In Louisiana, locals would sometimes bring
one into the University after finding one under their dog, fearing a
parasite.  But it was usually that the animal crawled under a dog on a
concrete stab (warm canine + cool concrete = 100% humidity environment).

I read in the little black book on British Planarians* that Bipalium
kewense (which may not be the one originally asked about) is a tropic
species which is not able to sexually reproduce in temperate environments,
but it is suggested to propagate here only by asexual (fission?) means.

<jstaton at oeb.harvard.edu>

*AUTHOR:     Ball, Ian R.
 TITLE:      British planarians, Platyhelminthes, Tricladida : keys and notes
             for the identification of the species / Ian R. Ball, T.B.
             Reynoldson ; illustrated by Julian Mulock and Maria Tran Thi
PUB. INFO:   Cambridge [Cambridgeshire] ; New York : Published for the
             Linnean Society of London and the Estuarine and Brackishwater
             Sciences Association by Cambridge University Press, 1981.
DESCRIPTION: vi, 141 p. : ill. ; 22 cm.
SERIES:      Synopses of the British fauna ; a new series, 19

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