Weird, Mysterious Worm: What Is It?

Spotted this in the front yard, around noon. Earlier in the morning, we had a pretty heavy thunderstorm… and the ground was pretty wet at this time (though it was slightly drizzling).

Not sure what this guy is. He seems way to small/thin to be an actual earthworm. Liz spotted him, and at first I thought it was a small leaf stuck on a spiderweb. But it’s definitely a worm of some kind. Liz has a theory it’s a tapeworm, but neither of us has a clue what this guy really is.

The only distinguishing features I can remember is that it was darker in the middle – and lighter on the ends. The front and back were a much lighter white/yellow color.

Anyone have any ideas?

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This Post Has 2 Comments

    • Hi Miki –

      Thanks for the ID! I actually saw that shudder-inducing Wired article before, so I’m both happy and disturbed that I now recognize this thing. Glad it’s just parasitic to insects. Yuck.

      As a kid, I had a morbid fascination with parasitic insect relationships. The whole “wasp paralyzing a spider and laying eggs on it” thing was like Nature’s version of a horror movie. As an adult, I’ve found a similar morbid fascination in these parasites that seem to turn their hosts into (risk-taking) zombies.

      I was really hoping someone would identify this guy, and thanks to you – we now know! Liz had the suggestion I Google “small worms,” but I had zero desire to expose myself to that kind of nightmare fuel. Glad you were able to help with the ID.

      avoision Reply

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