And now for something completely different: the land planarian Bipalium adventitium.
I found this critter a few weeks ago in the park near my house. As usual, I was looking for slugs and snails and there was this planarian crawling around the roots of a tree.
The fully stretched animal—they have very flexible bodies—was ~8 cm long.
Although Libbie Hyman described this species using the specimens collected in Pasadena, California (Hyman, 1943; pdf), it is believed to have been introduced to North America originally somewhere from eastern Asia. Here are the 3 exotic Bipalium species found in the U.S.
From Ducey et al. 2007. Southeastern Naturalist 6:449.
Bipalium adventitium preys on earthworms. Mine ate one earthworm I had put in its container, but I wasn't around to take its pictures during the process. Subsequently, it produced 3 egg cocoons. If it were a native species, I would have released it back into the wild. But, and despite the fact that it is more or less a naturalized alien, I decided that the best thing to do was to preserve it in alcohol for posterity.
Continues in Part 2.