Hammerhead flatworms are latest species to invade Houston

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Monday, June 28, 2021
Hammerhead flatworms are latest species to invade Houston
Like fire ants weren't bad enough, a worm that can grow to a foot long is the newest invasive species to slither into Texas.

HOUSTON, Texas -- Like red ants and killer bees aren't bad enough, there is another invasive species in Texas that has slithered into Dallas-Fort Worth: an extra-long worm - it can be nearly a foot long - disgusting on its own, but also predatory, in that it eats earthworms, which are essential to maintain healthy soil.

It's called a hammerhead flatworm, and the Texas Invasive Species Institute confirms that they're starting to be spotted in the Houston area. The species is quite established in Southeast Texas.

Ashley Morgan-Olvera, the institute's director of research and outreach, told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram that they've received hundreds of reports of hammerhead flatworms in the past few weeks in Dallas, Tarrant, and Smith counties, and even as far north as Missouri.

For more on this story, continue reading from our ABC13 partners at Houston CultureMap.