The Life Cycle of a Horsehair Worm, Gordius robustus (Nematomorpha: Gordioidea).
Predation on horsehair worms (Phylum Nematomorpha).
It had approximately 6 cm of a horsehair worm protruding from its anus; a smaller separate segment that included the anterior end of a worm was found in the colon.
Finally, our observations have provided new information on the geographical distribution of horsehair worms. In his review of horsehair worm distribution in the United States, Chandler (1985) included no records of any species of horsehair worm from Missouri.
He tells me that what we saw was not a new or endangered animal, just an unusual one: the horsehair worm
. These appropriately named wonders are biologically distinct enough to earn classification in their own phylum, all of 250 species strong.
During summer 2011, collection of freshwater horsehair worms was attempted at 10 sites, including Eagle Fork Creek, Glover River, Lukfata Creek, Mud Creek, Mountain Fork River, Salt Creek, Steven's Creek, Yanubbee Creek, Yashau Creek, and White Oak Creek in McCurtain County, Oklahoma.
Nine specimens of free-living adult horsehair worms were collected and identified as Paragordius varius (Leidy, 1851).
About 300 species of horsehair worms
(Nematomorpha) are known, about a third of them from Europe (Schmidt-Rhaesa 1997).