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The Life Cycle of a Horsehair Worm, Gordius robustus (Nematomorpha: Gordioidea)

Ben Hanelt and John Janovy, Jr.
The Journal of Parasitology
Vol. 85, No. 1 (Feb., 1999), pp. 139-141
DOI: 10.2307/3285720
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3285720
Page Count: 3
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The Life Cycle of a Horsehair Worm, Gordius robustus (Nematomorpha: Gordioidea)
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Abstract

Aspects of the life cycle of the nematomorph Gordius robustus were investigated. Gordius robustus larvae fed to Tenebrio molitor (Coleoptera: Tenebrionidae) readily penetrated and subsequently encysted in the posterior portion of the midgut wall. Parasite development was then arrested in each infected beetle. Upon feeding these cysts to laboratory-reared Gryllus firmus, worm larvae developed to adults in the cricket hemocoel. In an additional experiment, G. robustus larvae fed to G. firmus did not develop to adults. These findings are in contrast to other studies that found direct infection to be an alternative mode of infection. This experiment is the first employing a laboratory-maintained stock of hosts to rear nematomorph worms.

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