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LEXICON

 

 

Hammerhead Worm

Common generic name for a genus of land flatworms, with the generic name Bipalium and listed in the family Geoplanidae, and otherwise known as land planarians. The common name derives from its crescent-shaped head, whereas the name Bipalium is a compound of the Latin words bi, meaning ‘two’, and pala, meaning ‘spade’. In Thai, members of this genus are known as non hua khwaan (หนอนหัวขวาน), i.e. ‘ax-headed worm’. These slug-like creatures are predatory and prey mostly on earthworms, or some on mollusks. Able to track their prey, once captured, the Hammerhead Worm will use its muscles in combination with a sticky secretions, to attach itself to the earthworm to prevent it from escaping. Due to this, it is in Thailand also nicknamed Sticky Worm. It feeds on its prey by secreting enzymes that will liquefy the prey's tissues, which are consequently sucked up. Some species are toxic, having the very potent neurotoxin tetrodotoxin.