Diversibipalium (in Hammerhead Worms)


12 Nov 2019 21:27:24
Quality Grade
Needs ID
Tatai Commune, Koh Kong Province, Cambodia
Added to iNaturalist
16 Dec 2019 15:43:37
Last updated
30 Dec 2019 21:13:43

Identifications and Comments

Identification by geechartier at 16 Dec 2019 15:43:39
Taxon: Bipaliinae [subfamily]
Identification by leigh_winsor at 30 Dec 2019 13:01:53
Taxon: Diversibipalium [genus]

This is a very interesting specimen, as it sits between Bipalium kewense and Bipalium persephone. Like the former, it has five dorsal - dorsolateral stripes (though the median dorsal stripe is faint anteriorly), and like the latter has an intact black transverse band (collar) just below the headplate, and the white and black coloured crescents on the headplate. Both these species, like the specimen itself, are found in Cambodia.

Comment by geechartier at 30 Dec 2019 13:22:07
@leigh_winsor thank you
Identification by geechartier at 30 Dec 2019 13:22:08
Taxon: Diversibipalium [genus]
Comment by geechartier at 30 Dec 2019 13:24:32
@leigh_winsor, it seems to be eating a fungus. Is that likely or is it more likely there is some invertebrate on the fungus that the worm is eating?
Comment by leigh_winsor at 30 Dec 2019 14:08:20
Land planarians are top level carnivores, and do not eat plants or fungi. The planarian in your photo appears to be resting, and the microhabitat is presumably just what it likes. Of course land planarians will eat fungivores such as snails that may come to feed on the fungus. On the other hand, the larvae of some species of mycetophilid flies can parasitise and devour planarians (the Tasmanian species Planivora insignis) !
Comment by geechartier at 30 Dec 2019 14:17:39
@leigh_winsor thank you, again
Comment by geechartier at 30 Dec 2019 15:56:41
@leigh_winsor in case it's of interest to you, the fungus was growing in the remains of a tree that has been severely damaged my carpenter ants. It has lots of nooks and crannies in which I have seen several types of invertebrates resting or hiding out (e.g. millipedes and beetles)
Comment by leigh_winsor at 30 Dec 2019 21:13:43
Sounds like a supermarket for land planarians - millipedes and beetles would be possible prey.

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Observation content (c) Gerard Chartier, some rights reserved (CC BY)