Weird parasite

Lost_Tarantula

Arachnosquire
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Oct 15, 2002
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I was removing a dead cricket, and I noticed a white worm looking thing that moved on it. I accidently cut it in half while inspecting it, and both sides continued to live on. It's about half a millimeter in diameter and about 2 cm long. Does anyone know what this is, and more importantly, is it dangerous to my T or to me? :?
 

AlbinoDragon829

Arachnobaron
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Sep 29, 2002
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Something similar happenned to me about a month ago and I saw exactly what you're talking about. I didn't worry about it because it was so small. This one, like yours, split in two. Since then I haven't seen it at all. I figure it probably died since my usumbara's tank is usually around 87-88 degrees F. I wouldn't think it's much to worry about.
 

Code Monkey

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Lost_Tarantula

Arachnosquire
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Code Monkey- you have an uncanny ability to post while I'm typing. :) I was just about to post about how I thought it was a horsehair worm....then I look down at topic review before I click submit, and there you are! They can't infest T's while in worm form? Good. I don't need to change out the soil then I guess. The soil was pretty damp; I'm going to lighten up on the water for a while. I read that they do infest spiders, however. So I guess they have to be real young to do that?

Secondly, is there a threat of a T getting one by eating infested crickets?

Thanks again, Code Monkey. You're always there with good news. :D
 

Code Monkey

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They infect their hosts by them injesting the larval cysts. Since their reproductive cycle is purely aquatic, unless you maintain your Ts in a vivarium complete with waterfall, I've got a hard time imagining how they would infect one. The reason they can't infect a T eating a cricket is that a T doesn't consume anything solid and actually strains out particles as small as some bacteria. A developed juvenile worm would be digested and sucked up right along with the cricket.

In theory, the cysts shouldn't be able to be consumed either. Do you know where you read about spiders being infected? I've always seen them listed solely as insect and snail parasites with the very rare mammal infection found.
 
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Lost_Tarantula

Arachnosquire
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Yeah this website: http://www.inhs.uiuc.edu/chf/pub/surveyreports/mar-apr95/page4.html

It's in the second paragraph. I'll copy it here for you to save time.

As larvae, horsehair worms are parasites of insects and other aquatic and terrestrial invertebrates, most notably grasshoppers, crickets, locusts, katydids, and beetles. Other hosts include caddisflies, dragonflies, spiders, millipedes, centipedes, crustaceans, and leeches. Host specificity has not yet been well documented. Other hosts include representatives of vertebrate groups.

-LT
 
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