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Spinochordodes tellinii

Spinochordodes tellinii

Spinochordodes tellinii with its bush-cricket host (Meconema thalassinum)
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Nematomorpha
Class: Gordioidea
Family: Chordodidae
Genus: Spinochordodes
Species: S. tellinii
Binomial name
Spinochordodes tellinii
(Camerano, 1888) [1]

The nematomorph hairworm Spinochordodes tellinii is a parasitic worm whose larvae develop in Orthopteran insects. This parasite is able to influence its host's nervous system in a manner comparable to mind control. Shortly before it is ready to leave the host, the parasite causes the grasshopper host to jump into water, where the grasshopper will drown. The adult worm lives and reproduces in water.

The microscopic larvae develop inside their host into worms that can be several times longer than their host.

It is not known whether the neuromodulatory process underlying the host's behaviour involves a manipulation of the nervous system or some other factor. Studies have indicated that grasshoppers which contain the parasite express, or create, different proteins in their brains than uninfected grasshoppers. Some of these proteins have been linked to neurotransmitter activity, others to geotactic activity, or the body's response to changes in gravity [2].

A similar parasitic worm is Paragordius tricuspidatus.[3]


  1. ^ Spinochordodes tellinii (TSN 700110). Integrated Taxonomic Information System.
  2. ^ Biron, D. G., L. Marché, F. Ponton, H. D. Loxdale, N. Galéotti, L. Renault, C. Joly & F. Thomas (2005). Behavioural manipulation in a grasshopper harbouring hairworm: a proteomics approach. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences 272 (1577): 2117-2126. doi:10.1098/rspb.2005.3213.
  3. ^ Andreas Schmidt-Rhaesaa, David G. Bironb, Cécile Jolyb and Frédéric Thomasb. "Host–parasite relations and seasonal occurrence of Paragordius tricuspidatus and Spinochordodes tellinii (Nematomorpha) in Southern France", Zoologischer Anzeiger - A Journal of Comparative Zoology, Volume 244, Issue 1, 15 August 2005, Pages 51-57
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Spinochordodes_tellinii". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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