Other Free Encyclopedias » Animal Life Resource » Jellyfish, Sponges, and Other Simple Animals » Hair Worms: Nematomorpha - Physical Characteristics, Behavior And Reproduction, No Common Name (paragordius Varius): Species Account - GEOGRAPHIC RANGE, HABITAT, DIET, HAIR WORMS AND PEOPLE, CONSERVATION STATUS

Hair Worms: Nematomorpha - No Common Name (paragordius Varius): Species Account

live larvae adult north

Physical characteristics: The color of Paragordius varius worms ranges from light yellow to nearly black. These worms are 4 to 14 inches (100 to 350 millimeters) long and about 0.03 inch (700 micrometers) wide. The tip of the male's tail is split in two and the tip of the female's tail in three.

Adult Paragordius varius worms live in and near slower streams, puddles, and places where rainwater collects. (Illustration by Bruce Worden. Reproduced by permission.)

Geographic range: Paragordius varius (abbreviated as P. varius) worms live in North and South America.

Habitat: Adult P. varius worms live in and near slower streams, puddles, and places where rain water collects. The larvae live in crickets and grasshoppers.

Diet: P. varius larvae absorb nutrients from their hosts. The adults do not eat.

Behavior and reproduction: In the spring, water insects carrying P. varius larvae transform into flying adults. Crickets and grasshoppers are infected when they eat dead insects containing worm larvae. Development to adult worms inside the host takes about one month. With this fast development, as many as three generations are produced in a single year.

Paragordius varius and people: P. varius worms do not infect humans.

Conservation status: P. varius worms are not considered threatened or endangered. ∎



Thorp, J. H., and A. P. Covich, eds. Ecology and Classification of North American Freshwater Invertebrates. San Diego, CA: Academic, 1991.

Web sites:

Hanelt, Ben. "General Gordian Worm Information." University of Nebraska, Lincoln. http://bsweb.unl.edu/emb/janovy/ben/info.html (accessed on February 3, 2005).

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over 7 years ago

There are articles documenting human infestations with gordius class of nematomorphs (parasitology journals). While, most entomology literatures focuses on the water state, free living and insest life cycle involvment -- to say that they do not affect vertebrates - and higher ones at that - does not respect the ever evolving challenges that nature throws at us-- esp when there are too numerous to count species of nematomorphs. Certain genus of nematomorphs are more than studied in cattle/equine (and same reportedly found in man) and pigeon. These represent only a handful of economically important host or target models. Then there is the human getting in the way of nature. It would seem that more and more parasitic and microfilarial - which the nematomorpea can mimic are occuring in humans - but poorly studied and thus poorly recognized - let alone treated by human medical circles. We need all of the scientific disciplines to work more closely together to illucidate new diseases or zoonoses - so that we may focus on emerging factors and remedies.