Entomology (Study of Bugs)/WORM Idetification

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Question
Worm
Worm  
Hi Ed,
I found this worm on shaded area of concrete as I was washing the concrete down.It is light brown with no discernable head features. It appears to be a parasitic worm as it has a sucker type mouth and is about 7 inches long. It almost looks like a ring worm but has a darker colouration and more defined external structure than compared images on the web...although ring worm may be in many varieties. Photo is attached.

Answer
Dear Allison - This appears to be a Gordian worm, a nematode-like animal in the phylum Nematomorpha; they all are parasitic on arthropods such as spiders and orthopteroid insects such as crickets and grasshoppers. What appears to be a sucker more likely is its posterior end - see http://tinyurl.com/azvbt88 for images and more details on their life cycle.

Hope this helps,
Saugy  

Entomology (Study of Bugs)

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Ed Saugstad

Expertise

Will accept most questions in general entomology, including those related to medical entomology, taxonomy, ecology, arthropod surveillance, and pest management. If you are requesting a 'mystery bug' identification, PLEASE either attach an image to your question, or post an image on a web page (such as Flickr) so that I can look at it, as verbal descriptions frequently are insufficient for a definitive identification.

Experience

21 years in the U.S. Army as a medical entomologist; duties varied from surveillance of pest populations (including mosquitoes, cockroaches, ticks, and stored products pests) to conducting research on mosquito-virus ecological relationships and mosquito faunal studies. Ten years as a civilian analyst for the Department of Defense, primarily on distribution of vector-borne diseases worldwide. Limited experience on surveillance of agricultural insects in North Dakota and Indiana.

Organizations
Entomological Society of America, West Virginia Entomological Society, Society for Vector Ecology, National Speleological Society, West Virginia Association for Cave Studies.

Publications
American Journal of Public Health, Contributions of the American Entomological Institute, Japanese Journal of Sanitary Zoology, Journal of Economic Entomology, Mosquito News, and Mosquito Systematics.

Education/Credentials
B.S. in entomology from North Dakota State University in 1963, M.S. in entomology from Purdue University in 1967.

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