Horsehair Worm

Subject:  Horsehair or Gordian Worm
Geographic location of the bug:  Washington, Texas
Date: 02/09/2018
Time: 09:33 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Here is another example of a Gordian worm. It was observed following a rain Jan 27, 2018.
How you want your letter signed:  A Texas Master Naturalist

Horsehair Worm

Dear Texas Master Naturalist,
Thank you for sending in your awesome image.  We are quite fond of both descriptive common names for this parasite.  Horsehair Worm is the name we are using to describe the image you submitted because the creature is stretched out and really does resemble a hair from a horse’s tail or mane, and we suspect the illusion might even be more startling given the opportunity to view the worm submerged in water.  The other common name, Gordian Worm, refers to the Gordian Knot of mythology that could not be untangled, and it is a perfect visual metaphor for a Horsetail Worm when it is contracted into a ball.  How long was your Horsehair Worm?

It was about 15 inches or maybe more if it had been straight. The stick to the right of it is my walking stick, which is about 1 in diameter.


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BugMan aka Daniel Marlos has been identifying bugs since 1999. is his passion project and it has helped millions of readers identify the bug that has been bugging them for over two decades. You can reach out to him through our Contact Page.

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