Land planarians

In our lab, we will study planarians of the aquatic variety, but there also land planarians that can regenerate, too!  John Wares, a professor in Genetics at UGA, had informed me that there were some land planarians roaming around in Athens.  My dad was visiting last weekend, so we went out the day after a big rain to take a look under some logs in my yard.  

Wow!  We found a few land planarians that were about 8 inches long (species Bipalium kewense). We also spotted some tail pieces that were crawling around.  These land planarians have beautiful stripes and an interesting broad head.  These worms are not native to North America and are thought to have been brought here from Southeast Asia in potted plants.  

We didn't see these land planarians feasting, but they are reported to eat earthworms.  Indeed, we found some earthworms and slugs on the same log.  Terrestrial planarians use tetrodotoxin to paralyze their prey.  If you are brave, you can search for some videos of land planarians eating.

So now I'm searching for a terrarium and a brave undergraduate student to see if we can do anything with these worms in the lab!