Hamerhead flatworm Malaysia-identification please
While on holiday in Malaysia we visited the Batu Cave temples and I saw the attached "bug" on a damp wall. It was very brightly coloured Black and Yellow and about 5-6" in length. From searches on the web the closest I have got to identification is from your web site – Striped Flatworm from Singapore is probably Bipalium rauchi. It is different with the headpatternation. I reallywould be most grateful if someone could identify it more precisely as my 6yr old son keeps asking me what it is. Much appreciated
The identification of the Bipalium rauchi from Singapore, reclassified as Diversibipalium rauchi (von Graff, 1899) thanks to our diligent readership, is probably the same as or a closely related species to the specimen in your photo. There is always much individual variation in species. Perfectly accurate species identification is often not possible with a photograph, and usually requires the actual specimen and an expert in the genus or family.
Update: (08/01/2008) About Another colorful Asian Flatworm
I reckon it is indeed a Bipalium sp., but I would think it is not the same species as the one from Singapore. Someone else found one almost exactly the same, also in Malaysia, see: http://dinets.travel.ru/malay.htm But they just call it a terrestrial flatworm. Here is one (in the first part of the video) that has similar head markings: http://ca.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=vids.individual&VideoID=24022492 As for putting an exact species name on it, I don’t know, there are over 800 species of land planarians world wide… Some of the tropical ones are both big and pretty it seems!