Just Butt Ugly or Bipalium Kewense

I went outside just a few moments ago and I saw this worm that I keep seeing around our house.  It’s got to be the ugliest damn worm I’ve ever seen.


It’s kind of tough to see in this picture, however, I wanted to show how long the worm was.  It was literally about 8 inches long.

I’ve seen them quite a bit on the Big Island.  I don’t recall seeing them ever on the mainland.

Here is a close up of the above picture:


I googled “Flat Head Worm” and the first picture that showed up was a picture from a website that used to be on Hunter Bishop’s blogroll, “Hawaiian Highlands” and there at the very bottom of the page was an explanation of what the worm was:

This is a shovel-headed garden worm, Bipalium kewense


“…Shovel-headed garden worms are carnivorous and eat earthworms, insects, slugs and snails. Strangely they can reproduce two ways: 1) asexually through fission where the tail falls off and grows its own head, or 2) sexually with another shovel-headed worm. An even stranger fact is that these worms eat and poop out the same hole which is located in the mid-section of its underside; according to Tbear that makes them “potty mouths.” Supposedly these flat-head worms are harmless to humans, but they can decimate earthworm populations, and that’s not so good.” HawaiianHighlands

40 Responses

  1. We have the hammer head flat worm on our property. We have seen them try to eat regular worms. Really gross. – While we spray bleach on them and they melt and die, does anyone know of other means to kill them?

  2. Gross.. I just saw TWO on my sidewalk and porch and I have lived here all my life and never seen anything like this…Don’t want them eating my earthworms but snails and slugs? Go for it!! Winston-Salem NC

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