Do hairworms (Nematomorpha) manipulate the water seeking behaviour of their terrestrial hosts?

  title={Do hairworms (Nematomorpha) manipulate the water seeking behaviour of their terrestrial hosts?},
  author={Fr{\'e}d{\'e}ric Thomas and Andreas Schmidt-Rhaesa and Gerry Martin and Chaudhary Manu and Patrick Durand and F. Renaud},
  journal={Journal of Evolutionary Biology},
Several anecdotal reports in the literature have suggested that insects parasitized by hairworms (Nematomorpha) commit `suicide' by jumping into an aquatic environment needed by an adult worm for the continuation of its life cycle. Based on 2 years of observations at a swimming pool in open air, we saw this aberrant behaviour in nine insect species followed by the emergence of hairworms. We conducted field and laboratory experiments in order to compare the behaviour of infected and uninfected… 

Hairworm response to notonectid attacks

The return to land: association between hairworm infection and aquatic insect development

Observing the development of last-instar Olinga jeanae (Trichoptera: Conoesucidae) caddisfly larvae naturally infected with Gordius-type hairworm cysts under controlled conditions, it is found that higher numbers of cysts per infected c Addisfly correlated with a decrease in time to pupation.

Water-seeking behavior in worm-infected crickets and reversibility of parasitic manipulation

It is shown that hairworm infection fundamentally modifies cricket behavior by inducing directed responses to light, a condition from which they mostly recover once the parasite is released.

Hairworm anti-predator strategy: a study of causes and consequences

By examining the proteome of the parasitic worm, a differential expression of 27 protein spots in those worms able to escape the predator is detected, suggesting the existence of an intense muscular activity in escaping worms, which functions in parallel with their distinctive biology.

Horsehair Worms (Gordius robustus) in Nests of the Western Bluebird (Sialia mexicana): Evidence for Anti-Predator Avoidance?

The most likely explanation for the presence of horsehair worms in nests of a cavity-nesting bird species in Los Alamos County, New Mexico is that worms engaged in anti-predator avoidance after their insect hosts were collected and before digestion by nestling birds.

‘Suicide’ of crickets harbouring hairworms: a proteomics investigation

Proteomics tools are used to identify the biochemical alterations that occur in the head of the cricket Nemobius sylvestris when it is driven to water by the hairworm Paragordius tricuspidatus and it is found that the parasite produces molecules from the Wnt family that may act directly on the development of the central nervous system (CNS).



Manipulation of a mollusc by a trophically transmitted parasite: convergent evolution or phylogenetic inheritance?

A predation test conducted under natural conditions indicated that cockles with the stunted foot and the altered behaviour are significantly more susceptible to predation by aquatic birds than other cockles.


A parasitic fungus infecting yellow dungflies manipulates host perching behaviour

  • D. Maitland
  • Biology
    Proceedings of the Royal Society of London. Series B: Biological Sciences
  • 1994
In yellow dungflies, E. muscae directly manipulates host perching behaviour causing infected dung flies to perch abnormally in a highly specific manner, designed to meet the fungus’s requirements for efficient spore dispersal and host infection.

Altered Behavioral Responses in Intermediate Hosts -- An Acanthoceptalan Parasite Strategy

The host suicide hypothesis is examined, in the light of recent discoveries about parasite-host relationships in the phylum Acanthocephala, about modified behavior of hosts with multihost parasites.

A parasite that increases host lifespan

It is suggested that the optimum trade–off between reproduction and longevity may be altered to favour longer host survivorship, which is likely to enhance parasite transmission.

The life cycle of a horsehair worm, Gordius robustus (Nematomorpha: Gordioidea).

This experiment is the first employing a laboratory-maintained stock of hosts to rear nematomorph worms in the cricket hemocoel to find direct infection to be an alternative mode of infection.

Seasonal Microhabitat Selection by an Endoparasitoid Through Adaptive Modification of Host Behavior

Modification of host behavior by diapausing parasitoids results in the selection of a suitable microhabitat that reduces the incidence of hyperparasitism and should decrease the action of adverse climatic conditions during the lengthy dormant period.

Ethological Aspects of Parasite Transmission

In parasitic life cycles, transmission events, that is, the passage of a parasite from an "upstream" host to a "downstream" host, often involve behavioral adaptations that result in an increase of

Evolution of trophic transmission in parasites: the need to reach a mating place?

A new hypothesis is proposed, which states that CLCs involving trophic transmission (i.e. transmission to a predator) evolved because they are an efficient way for parasites to meet a sexual partner, assuming that selective benefits are associated with cross‐fertilization.

"Adaptive" changes in the behaviour of parasitized animals: a critical review.

  • R. Poulin
  • Biology
    International journal for parasitology
  • 1995