Gordian Worm

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.

1 thought on “Gordian Worm”

  1. 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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