Watch a Huge Parasite Make an Escape After Its Host Dies

October 19, 2015 | Johannes Van Zijl

Photo credit: DjWorldFootball/Youtube

A huge parasitic worm escapes the dying body of a praying mantis it had been living inside.

The worm, known as Nematomorpha or horsehair worm, can grow up to 2 meters long. During its larval stage, the parasite enters an insect host and absorbs nutrients from the insect's blood (called "hemolymph"). Once fully matured, the worm influences its host's brain, causing the insect to seek out a body of water. In freshwater, the fully-developed horsehair worm exits the insect to seek a mate and continue the lifecycle

Please note, there is no need to go and stomp on praying mantises. We found this video of the large parasitic worm rather fascinatingly, but we do not support the needless killing of insects.

You might also like: Nature's Zombies: Mind-Altering Infections from Snails to Humans

Hot Topics

Facebook comments