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Thread: Ok, biologists, what the heck is this??

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    Member coho slayer's Avatar
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    Default Ok, biologists, what the heck is this??

    Unfortunately, I don't have a picture, so I'll do my best to describe what I'm talking about.

    We were messing around at Finger Lake the other night and noticed several long, thin, hair-like worms swimming like a snake in the water. Kinda creepy, really, and I've never seen them before. Around six-inches long and brownish in color. When I picked one up on a stick, it kind of coiled up in a weird kinked-coil.

    After some internet research, it looks like a Gordian worm or Horsehair worm, but according to the description, they live part of their life in crickets, which we don't have here. Maybe our grasshoppers serve as hosts?

    Anyway, anyone with knowledge, ideas, etc. feel free to educate me. My family is freaked out about swimming there now....lol.

    They looked just like this, but this one is from France (courtesy Google images):


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    Member AKnook's Avatar
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    I have no idea what that is but saw one a few years ago while fishing the Deshka river. It swam/slithered around near the side of the boat. I never seen another one since.

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    Sounds like some kind of aquatic nematode. I'm searching for more info.

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    Member alaskabliss's Avatar
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    Could be a immature lamprey eel. There are lots in the Susitna drainage.

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    Member coho slayer's Avatar
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    I'm thinking nematode/round worm of some sort. There were no fins, tail, or visible mouth parts, so I don't think it was a lamprey. If you're at one of the local lakes, look along the shore for them swimming. We also saw some along the dock by the launch in Finger Lake. I may get a sample and take it to the cooperative extension people for ID if I'm back out there and see another.

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    Member DannerAK's Avatar
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    Now that I am on my home computer I can see the image. Definitely not a lamprey. Were the ones in Finger Lake that long? I was going to ask the pathologist at work but he had left for the weekend. If nobody gets a good ID on that thing by then I'll inquire to what it is and if humans can be a host or affected.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AKnook View Post
    I have no idea what that is but saw one a few years ago while fishing the Deshka river. It swam/slithered around near the side of the boat. I never seen another one since.
    AKnook What you saw on the Deshka was a Pacific Lamprey. Did some work on the river 'bout 10 years ago and commonly came across these in the traps. Some were 3 feet in length. Pretty weird putting your hand in the trap and pulling one of those out in the dark

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    Member coho slayer's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ok, biologists, what the heck is this??

    Quote Originally Posted by DannerAK View Post
    Now that I am on my home computer I can see the image. Definitely not a lamprey. Were the ones in Finger Lake that long? I was going to ask the pathologist at work but he had left for the weekend. If nobody gets a good ID on that thing by then I'll inquire to what it is and if humans can be a host or affected.
    They were a little shorter than the one in the picture but we saw several of different sizes. Basically look identical to the picture, though.

    Sent using the force

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    Member power drifter's Avatar
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    Well this is what I've come up with. Nematomorpha (commonly known as hair worms or horse hair worms) are fascinatingly disgusting aquatic creatures that tend to shock onlookers when they are discovered living in their hosts. Hair worms are long, thin, and cylindrical, making them look similar to long strands of black, brown, yellow, or white hair. They range in size from 5300 cm long and can be 0.510 mm thick. The parasitic portion of the hair worm's life cycle occurs after the eggs, laid in water, hatch. The hatched larvae swim to find a host, use their hooks to pierce the body, and then enter into the host organism. Hair worms that live in marine crustaceans belong to the class Nematomorpha whereas worms that live in terrestrial arthropods (like crickets, beetles, and cockroaches) belong to the class Gordius. Since hair worms are so thin, they can grow to surprisingly incredible lengths within the small body cavities of their hosts. When they emerge from the body to begin mating, the sight is often incredibly gruesome and unexpected as it erupts in a massive tangle of worm that significantly exceeds the size of the host

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    Member DannerAK's Avatar
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    Wow. Now that is "fascinatingly disgusting".

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    Member power drifter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DannerAK View Post
    Wow. Now that is "fascinatingly disgusting".
    Yes but only to add this extra bit of info. A living worm was discharged per urethram of a 26-year-old woman, and identified as Parachordodes sp. based on its morphologic characteristics. This is the sixth case of human urinary infestation with nematomorphs ever reported in the world literature. Her case history, symptoms, treatment were recorded. The morphology of this worm was observed in detail. The route of the invasion of nematomorph was also discussed. It is suggested that the human urinary infestation occurred when the lower body of the patient was immersed into natural waters, such as swamps, ponds, spring-pools, ditches, streams, etc., with the larva or small immature worm entering the urethra, especially of a female patient, and going further into the bladder.

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    Member coho slayer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by power drifter View Post
    Yes but only to add this extra bit of info. A living worm was discharged per urethram of a 26-year-old woman, and identified as Parachordodes sp. based on its morphologic characteristics. This is the sixth case of human urinary infestation with nematomorphs ever reported in the world literature. Her case history, symptoms, treatment were recorded. The morphology of this worm was observed in detail. The route of the invasion of nematomorph was also discussed. It is suggested that the human urinary infestation occurred when the lower body of the patient was immersed into natural waters, such as swamps, ponds, spring-pools, ditches, streams, etc., with the larva or small immature worm entering the urethra, especially of a female patient, and going further into the bladder.
    OMG.

    Nobody tell my wife this. Ever. She will never get in a lake again....

    So, if I understand this correctly, it is most likely a nematomorph that will infect a crustacean, like a snail or freshwater clam? I am actually pretty fascinated by this, now.

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    Quote Originally Posted by power drifter View Post
    the human urinary infestation occurred when the lower body of the patient was immersed into natural waters, such as swamps, ponds, spring-pools, ditches, streams, etc., with the larva or small immature worm entering the urethra, especially of a female patient, and going further into the bladder.
    guess another good reason it's good to be a man...that is going to make my next lake swim oh so much more exciting

    whenabouts are these things usually swimming around in the small stage??

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    Supporting Member iofthetaiga's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by andweav View Post
    guess another good reason it's good to be a man...
    I don't think "especially of a female patient" = males are immune. Just say'n.
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    Quote Originally Posted by coho slayer View Post
    OMG.

    Nobody tell my wife this. Ever. She will never get in a lake again....

    So, if I understand this correctly, it is most likely a nematomorph that will infect a crustacean, like a snail or freshwater clam? I am actually pretty fascinated by this, now.
    LMAO! This is good stuff. Pure comedy and great trivia knowledge.

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    Seen these things a few years ago while living in Flagstaff, AZ. Had to have the septic system cleaned out of the house we were renting. They had to bring out a backhoe to dig down to tank. Days after, we started getting some weird mutant looking bugs similar to crickets, but with bigger uglier heads coming into the house. My girls were first to see a bug and sprayed one with insecticide. The bug promptly died, then these horse hair worms erupt from the thing in the most gruesome way!! I can still recall the screaming that woke me up!! Every one of the bugs we killed were infested with these worms, really gross stuff. Freaked the wife and girls out so bad, they hated that house after that.

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    I first saw these "worms" in Arizona too. They were erupting out of a dead cricket. Your may have been coming out of a Mormon cricket, they are beefier crickets.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Retired Jim View Post
    AKnook What you saw on the Deshka was a Pacific Lamprey. Did some work on the river 'bout 10 years ago and commonly came across these in the traps. Some were 3 feet in length. Pretty weird putting your hand in the trap and pulling one of those out in the dark
    A little freaky to say the least! Yea I only seen it one time.

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    Quote Originally Posted by iofthetaiga View Post
    I don't think "especially of a female patient" = males are immune. Just say'n.
    Ya makes a guy want to wear a condom. Might be a little challenging with the cold water
    .LOL

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    Supporting Member iofthetaiga's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by power drifter View Post
    Ya makes a guy want to wear a condom. Might be a little challenging with the cold water
    .LOL
    Sure...blame it on the cold water.
    ...he who knows nothing is nearer to truth than he whose mind is filled with falsehoods & errors. ~Thomas Jefferson
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