Gordius Robustus Discovered in Selma
Last fall Kathy Mechling saw what looked like an eight inch strand of hair moving in her old horse trough. A medical doctor with a practice in the Illinois Valley, Mechling also has master’s degree in zoology.
Dr. Mechling contacted the Hairworm Biodiversity Project in Albuquerque, New Mexico and ended up sending the hair-like worm to them.
She was recently notified the creature was a Gordius Robustus, the first documented in Oregon. The worm is a parasite to some insects, including grasshoppers. After a grasshopper eats a hairworm cyst, the cyst then eats the grasshopper from the inside out. In essence the worm turns the grasshopper into a zombie causing it to jump into water where the adult hair worm emerges.