Incredibly Long, Brown Worm is a Hammerhead Worm

NOTE: This site is dedicated to garden worms and worms found around the environment. We are not a site for information about parasites, we are not doctors, we are bug enthusiasts. This is why we have put together this page of parasite resources for people who are infected with parasites. Please do not ask us to identify a parasite or diagnose a parasite-related issue

“What the heck is this?” asks this reader about the brown, striped organism pictured below. “It’s easily 10-to-12-inches long, and found in Greenville, South Carolina.”

From looking at the organism, we can immediately tell that this is a flatworm. Likewise, by zooming in on the top end of the flatworm, we can tell that it is a hammerhead flatworm. This particular hammerhead is incredibly long, though they can grow to nearly 20-inches (depending on the species!).


ATTENTION: GET PARASITE HELP NOW! At All About Worms we get a lot of questions about skin parasites, blood parasites, and intestinal parasites in humans. Because we can't diagnose you, we have put together this list of doctors and labs who understand and specialize in dealing with parasites in humans! That resource is HERE

Hammerhead worms are predatory worms, and are a great threat to the insects, snails and other hammerhead worms that they eat. That said, they are not dangerous to humans, so our reader does not need to worry for her health and safety. Despite this, our reader should still use caution when approaching this worm, as they can secrete a fluid which can sting upon contact. Rashes and itching may also occur, depending on if one has an allergic reaction to it.

Interestingly, this fluid is actually deadly to the prey the hammerhead hunts. In actual fact, there are two different fluids that the hammerhead secretes, one of which paralyzes the victim, and the other which melts them (quite literally). After they melt their prey, the hammerhead worm extends a straw-like appendage from their face which they use to slurp up their meal. On top of that, they possess abilities such as tracking prey using sensors underneath their head, which monitor changes in pH levels (among other biological signatures), as well as growing back lost body parts.

NOTE: This site is dedicated to garden worms and worms found around the environment. We are not a site for information about parasites, we are not doctors, we are bug enthusiasts. This is why we have put together this page of parasite resources for people who are infected with parasites. Please do not ask us to identify a parasite or diagnose a parasite-related issue

In fact, if you cut a hammerhead worm in two, you would eventually get two new, fully-grown hammerhead worms. The same goes if you cut it into three or four parts, or even more: you would get the same number of new hammerhead worms as parts that you cut the original into. Some might call them the real-life hydras!

No Paywall Here!
All About Worms is and always has been a free resource. We don't hide our articles behind a paywall, or make you give us your email address, or restrict the number of articles you can read in a month if you don't give us money. That said, it does cost us money to pay our research authors, and to run and maintain the site, so if something you read here was helpful or useful, won't you consider donating something to help keep All About Worms free?
Click for amount options
Other Amount:

To conclude, the organism our reader found is a hammerhead flatworm. These creatures are not dangerous to humans, but the fluid they secrete can sting. So, in the case that our reader needs to move the worm, we advise scooping it up onto a dustpan and wearing gardening gloves to handle the worm safely. We hope that this article answered our reader’s question to a satisfactory degree, and we wish her the very best!

Summary
Incredibly Long, Brown Worm is a Hammerhead Worm
Article Name
Incredibly Long, Brown Worm is a Hammerhead Worm
Description
"What the heck is this?" asks this reader about the brown, striped organism pictured below. "It's easily 10-to-12-inches long, and found in Greenville, South Carolina."
Author

Author: All About Worms

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *