What is this
Location: League city, texas
January 9, 2011 9:02 pm
This snake or worm was found alive at the bottom of our pool after a rain in early January
Signature: Austin

Gordian Worm

Dear Austin,
This is a Gordian Worm or Horsehair Worm.  It is an internal parasite of certain insects and arthropods including the Potato Bug.  The Gordian Worm has a very complicated life cycle, but it reaches maturity inside the digestive tract of a Potato Bug.  When the worm is mature, it releases a chemical that drives the Potato Bug to seek water.  Once the Potato Bug enters the water, the worm bursts out killing the host.  Adult Gordian Worms mate in the water.

Location: Texas

One Response to Gordian Worm

  1. aussietrev says:

    These are such cool beasties. I have found them in large grashoppers in Australia and generally there will be two, I don’t know if that is typical for the species or not. One cool thing about them, I have found them in a creek at night by torch light and they shimmer in all the colours of the rainbow.

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