Bipalium kewense Minimize

 

May 2006. Reported from Cook Islands (top, left). The worm in the photo (lower, left) is about 22 cm long and up to 5 mm wide. Brown above, with 3 slender dark stripes (middorsal and dorsolateral), and pale grey-brown below. The semicircular head was about 7 mm wide, and had no visible "eyes"and no mouth.

March 2007. Also found on watercress in Samoa (lower, right & left).
 
Both specimens were identified as the flatworm, Bipalium kewense.  It was first collected in Samoa around 1890s by JJ Lister and reported in the Proceeding of the Linnaeus Society NSW in 1891.

See also the entry on the Cook Ilsands Biodiversity & Naural Heritage database: cookislands.bishopmuseum.org/species.asp.?id=14425.

Several flatworms have been identified by L Winsor of James Cook University, Quaeensland. The last collection from the Cook Islands, Niue, Samoa and Tonga was done in 1999 - 2001. It is likely that it is a predator of local snails and slugs.

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