Can anyone verify or refute this?

Wits' End

Flashlight Enthusiast
Nov 27, 2001
Remote NEast Minnesota, next to Lake Superior
Not for the faint of stomach /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/icon15.gif

Rube Goldberg Flukes

The lancet fluke is a parasite that accomplishes its life cycle in a most complicated, Rube Goldberg, manner.

Mature lancet flukes live in cows and other grazing animals. Their eggs are spread in the manure left by the animal. Snails, which naturally eat the manure, eat the eggs. Once in the snail's intestines, the eggs hatch. The flukes make their way to the outside of the snail. Meanwhile, the irritated snail tries to get rid of the flukes by imprisoning them in balls of slime, which it leaves behind in the grass. A foraging ant is likely to find the ball, filled with hundreds of flukes. When the ant eats it, the flukes leave the ant's intestinal tract, finally settling as a cluster of nerves that control the ant's mandibles. The ant seems perfectly normal until the sun begins to set. Then the ant, under the control of the flukes, climbs a blade of grass, and the mandible clamps shut on the end. There the ant waits to be consumed by a grazer, where the lancet life cycle begins all over. Even stranger, if the ant isn't eaten by the time the sun returns, the ! ant returns to normal life, until the next sunset.

[/ QUOTE ]


Newly Enlightened
Feb 8, 2005
aloha state
I've heard of it. The ants climb to the tips of the grass to await being eaten and start the cycle all over. Didn't know it was a nocturnal cycle though, and I never knew the parasite flipped it's control over the ant on and off. I always thought they just climbed up and awaited their fate. Trip ain't it?


Sep 23, 2004
the worms/flukes end up taking total control of their host. i watched a show hesterday with a fake bird diving for a "normal herring" and an "infected herring" the normal fish went for the cover of the weed when the fake bird "ducted for it" but the infected fish just swam around ......waiting to be eaten, to continue the lifecycle. They do definetly manipulate their hosts.....without doubt. these flukes nended up being larger than the fish.

Latest posts