Strangeness of life: this parasitic worm guts insects like in Alien!

This resident of Mexico witnessed a scene that may put off the most sensitive: the extraction of a nematomorph from the body of a Grasshopper. This is the last stage of the development cycle of these long worms which can measure up to 70 centimeters. How did he get there? To understand it, you have to go back to the story from the beginning, when the worm was only a larva. In the larval stage, nematomorphs are strict peststhat is, they are forced to infect a host – here the Grasshopper – to carry out their growth. The larvae are present in all environments aqueous and thanks to a mouth adorned with hooks, they cling to the insects and pierce their exoskeleton to enter their body cavity.

There, the larvae begin their metamorphosis and grow to become long to thin and lightly browned. Cramped in their hiding place, they twist and become a real bag of knots alive as they grow. Obviously, they feed on the viscera of the insect that shelters them. Once adults, they extract themselves from their dead host and return to an aqueous medium. Adults are not parasites, but free verse. They will lay eggs in the water which will give rise to larvae and this infernal cycle will continue its course.


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