Parasite escaping a squished spider (video)

Mermithidae is a family of nematode worms that are endoparasites in arthropods. As early as 1877, Mermithidae was listed as one of nine subdivisions of the Nematoidea. Mermithidae are confusable with the horsehair worms of the phylum Nematomorpha that have a similar life history and appearance.

Mermithids are parasites, mainly of arthropods. Most are known from insects, but some are recorded from spiders, scorpions and crustaceans. A few are known to parasitize earthworms, leeches and molluscs, and a specimen is known from a spider preserved in forty million-year old Baltic amber. At least 25 species are known to parasitize mosquito larvae, making them of considerable interest in biological control.

Mermithids are wire-like and have a smooth cuticle with layers of spiral fibres. The digestive tract is similar to that of free-living nematodes only in the young larvae prior to their parasitic life; in the parasitic stages the oesophagus is disconnected from the mid-intestine, and females lack an anus. The female genital opening is at the midbody, while the male opening is at the tip and visible as one or two spicules. The eggs are laid either in water or on land, and the newly hatched larvae are free-living, as are the adults that emerge from the hosts to lay eggs.

1 Response

  1. Louise Cann says:

    There’s a video right after the spider and worms video of some seriously clueless moron that kills a praying Mantis.Ive got just one question WHY?Please forgive my out of line “Moron” insult though.That was uncalled for,but so was the drowning with bug spray that person committed.For all of us that don’t know everything,INCUDING MYSELF,Praying Mantis effectively decimate all sorts of flying,crawling and sulking PESTS.They are the one insect that doesn’t bother humans but quietly and out of reach, do a remarkable job eating many times their weight,nasty bugs.Please read up on this extremely fascinating insect before you ignore this missive.Again I apologize for anyone that was offended at my opening tirade.

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