Australian Biological Resources Study

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Gordian Worms, Horse-hair Worms

Compiler and date details

October 2011 - ABRS, with thanks to Dr A. Schmidt-Rhaesa for assistance with references


Although Schmidt-Rhaesa (2002) notes that seven Nematomorph species are recorded for Australia, but he lists eight species. Two further species were described by Schmidt-Rhaesa and Bryant (2004), bringing the total to ten.

These curious parasitic worms, known as 'Horsehair Worms' or 'Gordian Worms' are parasites of arthropods, including spiders, beetles and mantids (Schmidt-Rhaesa 2001) and vertebrates such as fishes and frogs. The life cycle of species that parasitise praying mantids is described by Schmidt-Rhaesa (2001). The Australian Museum website has an interesting account of these worms.


General References

Schmidt-Rhaesa, A. 2002. Australian species of Chordodes (Nematomorpha) with the description of two new species, remarks on the genus and its life history. Journal of Natural History 36: 1569-1588

Schmidt-Rhaesa, A. & Ehrmann, R. 2001. Horsehair worms (Nematomorpha) as parasites of praying mantids with a discussion of their life cycle. Zoologischer Anzeiger 240: 167–179


History of changes

Note that this list may be incomplete for dates prior to September 2013.
Published As part of group Action Date Action Type Compiler(s)
31-Oct-2011 31-Oct-2011 MODIFIED
12-Feb-2010 (import)