Venereal worms: sexually transmitted nematodes in the decorated cricket

J Parasitol. 2000 Jun;86(3):471-7. doi: 10.1645/0022-3395(2000)086[0471:VWSTNI]2.0.CO;2.

Abstract

The nematode, Mehdinema alii, occurs in the alimentary canal of the decorated cricket Gryllodes sigillatus. Adult nematodes occur primarily in the hindgut of mature male crickets, whereas juvenile nematodes are found in the genital chambers of mature male and female crickets. Here, we present experimental evidence for the venereal transmission of M. alii in G. sigillatus. Infectivity experiments were conducted to test for transmission via oral-fecal contamination, same-sex contact, and copulation. The infective dauers of the nematode are transferred from male to female crickets during copulation. Adult female crickets harboring infective dauers subsequently transfer the nematode to their next mates. Thus, M. alii is transmitted sexually during copulation.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Female
  • Gryllidae / parasitology*
  • Gryllidae / ultrastructure
  • Host-Parasite Interactions
  • Male
  • Microscopy, Electron, Scanning
  • Nematoda / physiology*
  • Nematoda / ultrastructure
  • Sex Factors