help identify an unusual invertebrate

David B. Hedrick davidbhedrick at
Wed Apr 30 00:21:05 EST 1997

Saw the same critter in Tallahassee FL about 10 years ago, but mine was
only about 4 inches long.  Decided it was a terrestrial planarian based
upon the lack of segments, thin slime, and the planarian eyes (nearly

Michael P. Ready wrote:
> >Just got home, and crawling across the sidewalk was an unusual
> >invertebrate that I've never seen before (Not that I've seen 'em all).
> >Anyway, at first glance it looked like an earthworm: round, about 10"
> >long and 1/8" across, not visibly segmented. Crawling on its belly and
> >leaving a slime trail behind; definitely a crawling, not serpentine
> >motion. But what was unusual was that it had a head shaped like a
> >shovel, not unlike the head of a hammerhead shark, about twice as wide
> >as the body, and flattened (it wasn't a partially squished
> >earthworm!). My first impression is that of a planarian, but this is
> >definitely round. There is also a distinct black stripe down the back;
> >the basic coloration is a tannish-brown, and the black stripe seems to
> >be pigmentation, not a dorsal blood vessel. The tail end was blunt,
> >not tapered.

> >Any clues to what this is?

Technical writing, literature search, and data analysis at the interface
of chemistry and biology. 

	davidbhedrick at

	David B. Hedrick
	P.O. Box 16082
	Knoxville, TN 37996

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