Invasive worms and slugs seemed to be showing up in this part of Texas after a few weeks of rains, just as it did a year ago.
In a social media post, Stone Oak resident Alana Gudopp-Kelly bragged about a hammerhead worm she caught while climbing a pillar adjacent to her house near Reagan High School.
According to Gudopp-Kelly, “I read they are invasive so I put it in a bag with salt and alcohol.”
Aside from Gudopp-Kelly, Annie Villaroman also posted on social media last week a photo of what turned out to be a black velvet slug by her North Side house because she simply finds the invasive species beautiful.
In an interview with another media entity, Matt McClure who has been doing research and studies on living organisms at the Texas State University Invasive Species Institute, said that the black velvet slugs have already established their existence and habitat in the San Antonio area over the last several years.
He also noted that aside from the black velvet slug, other species which have also found a home in this part of Texas — “Hammerhead worms have been well-established in Texas for many years, although there may be new invasions of other species of hammerhead worms happening too.”
Interestingly, invasive species, as the name suggests, actually decimate native species as they get to “invade” other species’ natural habitat, and even the food. Invasive species are also known to be carriers of disease and parasites released in the form of toxins, apparently to prey or weaker species.
McClure further claimed that invasive slugs and snails also tend to destroy garden plants and prey on earthworms and other invertebrates. These species however don’t pose any harm on humans and farm animals — unless ingested.
In the event that a person gets to unknowingly eat one, they might suffer parasite-induced abdominal angiostrongyliasis. People suffering from abdominal angiostrongyliasis are most likely to get a fever, abdominal pain and tumor-like lesions.
The same applies with other invertebrates, says McClure who enjoined San Antonio folks to wash their hands whenever they get to have contact with any organisms in general.
Sometime in August last year, local folks also reported spotting in San Antonio another type of invasive species which later turned out to be New Guinea flatworms.