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parasite worm in home-hatched moth?

Discussion in 'Tarantula Questions & Discussions' started by rgfx, Sep 18, 2005.

  1. rgfx

    rgfx Arachnoknight

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    Typical! I just posted a thread about how cool moths are and now I've got one with a worm in it! :8o
    A while ago I noticed some tiny caterpillar/worm things crawling around one of A.versi sling jars. The jar had just been cleaned, but when I changed the substrate I forgot to mix the fresh compost with some dry compost, so the jar was a bit too damp and was misting up. I thought the worm thingies were there because of this.
    So I cleaned the jar again, and all's been well since.

    About an hour ago I gave my A.versi slings a moth each, and just now I noticed what looked like a worm coming out of one moths arse. I hooked the moth out and mashed it open, the other versi had already half eaten his moth by the time I got it off him.

    The 'parasite' in the mashed open moth died as soon as I tried to pull it out,
    and now I can't tell if it is a parasite or not.
    Inside the moth there is long strings of what look like eggs.

    Could the parasite have been an ovipositor? I was certain it was a worm but I can't find it now.
    Would a moth parasite infect a spider? could a spider catch a parasite from prey, or would it be killed by venom?
    Were those previous worms I saw, newly hatched wax-worms?
     
  2. Cheshire

    Cheshire Arachnoking Old Timer

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    The previous worms you saw could have been new wax worms, mealworms, rice flour beetles larvae, dirmested beetles, possibly friut fly maggots, or maybe even superworm larvae. We can't know without a pic. Worst case scenario: phorid flies (cue ominous music).

    I know a little about parasites, but I do know that parasites that use other animals as secondary hosts *tend* to want the host eaten alive, whole. The venom and/ or digestive enzymes would most likely kill it, but I am by no means an expert on the subject but and could very well be wrong. I just have a lot of downtime.

    As for the strings of eggs, I'd venture to guess that those were just the moth's eggs. As far as I know, moths don't have ovipositors.

    The worms most likely won't hurt your T. Check and see if you can find another parasitized moth and post pics of the parasite.
     
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2005
  3. Cirith Ungol

    Cirith Ungol Ministry of Fluffy Bunnies Old Timer

    And you're sure it's not poo, an egg laying tube or perhaps some other original moth "rear-part" that was just pressed out of its bum?
     
  4. rgfx

    rgfx Arachnoknight

    cheers chaps, yeah I'm starting to thiink it was my over-active imagination.
    What are the chances of a moth thats only been hatched 2 or 3 days having a large worm parasite inside 'em? Not high methinks... and if there was, why would it be coming out of a moth, before it's been bitten by a T?
    Will check my remaining moths for 'parasites', knowing my luck I probably just mashed up the only one that was gonna lay eggs...
    I was so sure that it was a parasite though, its movement appeared so independent from the moth. :?
     
  5. Captante

    Captante Arachnoknight Old Timer

    I recall reading a post similar to this not very long ago ... the person who wrote it spotted what looked like a worm exiting a partially consumed cricket & tried to snag it but their T ate most of it before they could.
     
  6. rgfx

    rgfx Arachnoknight

    I'm sure I read somewhere that only liquid and tiny particles can pass thru the setae covering a Ts mouth, so I don't think it could ingest a live parasite.
    Also I would have thought that the eggs of a wormlike parasite would be layed by a fly of some kind, not the worm.
    just some recent thoughts, correct me if way off.
     
  7. Cheshire

    Cheshire Arachnoking Old Timer

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    Trachnid flies lay their eggs in almost anything.

    If you want to try a cool experiment, catch a grasshopper and set it in a jar with more than adequate ventilation so it won't overheat and leave it out for a few days (Make sure it has something to eat). If you keep it long enough, one day you'll find a dead grasshopper and a big, white fat maggot at the bottom of the cage ready to pupate.

    It also works with catterpillars
     
  8. kyrcrafter

    kyrcrafter Arachnopeon

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    Think I've experienced the same thing and I was able to take some videos. I know this is and old forum but I was hoping maybe if you guys were still around and could see it you could identify it before my eggs hatch bc I'm not exactly comfortable with that thing in there with the babies until I know what it is.
     
  9. kyrcrafter

    kyrcrafter Arachnopeon

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  10. ediblepain

    ediblepain Arachnosquire Active Member

    With WC mantis you can hold it with its bum sticking into water and if it has a horsehair whip worm (I think that's what it was called?) It will slither out into the water. Maybe this would be worth experimenting with?
     
  11. ediblepain

    ediblepain Arachnosquire Active Member

  12. Andrea82

    Andrea82 Arachnoking Active Member

    Downside is you'll be killing the mantis as well since they breathe through there...
    @kyrcrafter , if you are uncomfortable, get rid of it, take it outside, away from your other animals.
     
  13. ediblepain

    ediblepain Arachnosquire Active Member

    The mantis in the video I posted was not dead after the parasite removal via water. I'm not saying drown the Lil guy..
     
  14. darkness975

    darkness975 a Dream Within a Dream Arachnosupporter

    I always hate seeing those (yes horsehair worm is correct, Nematomorpha family) because their sheer size is seemingly impossible. I cannot imagine it being inside the poor mantis.
     
  15. darkness975

    darkness975 a Dream Within a Dream Arachnosupporter

    Actually, given the downward orientation of the mantis' front region post parasite exiting it possibly did kill it, though I suspect the reason for this is probably trauma given the size of that behemoth and what it must have had to do to force its way out of the unfortunate host. Likely ruptured every artery inside its body.
     
  16. Andrea82

    Andrea82 Arachnoking Active Member

    The mantis died, it says so in the comments ;)
     
  17. ediblepain

    ediblepain Arachnosquire Active Member

    ohhhh my bad. yes, i was incorrect.