Long white worm thing....

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Long white worm thing....

Postby self-deleted_user » Jun 27, 2011 3:13 pm

So anyone know what this might be?? There were a few at the bottom of Fountain Pit. They were moving...slowly but moving.

Image
Fountain Pit 05 by Sunguramy, on Flickr

And a hand for scale =)
Image
Fountain Pit 06 by Sunguramy, on Flickr
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Re: Long white worm thing....

Postby rlboyce » Jun 27, 2011 3:35 pm

WTF??
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Re: Long white worm thing....

Postby Phil Winkler » Jun 27, 2011 3:48 pm

First critter that came to mind was it being a Whip Worm, but if so they are the biggest ones I've seen. 2-3 inches is usually their max, I think.
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Re: Long white worm thing....

Postby John Lovaas » Jun 27, 2011 3:51 pm

Horsehair worm! I'm guessing- but I've seen them inside and outside of caves.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nematomorpha
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Re: Long white worm thing....

Postby tncaver » Jun 27, 2011 3:58 pm

I saw a long white worm just like that a couple of weeks ago in a TN cave. Wished I'd had a camera. It was near the entrance.
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Re: Long white worm thing....

Postby self-deleted_user » Jun 27, 2011 3:59 pm

Oh cool beans! yeah horsehair seems to fit. if straight they were probably 12-14 inches long or so which is on the small side according to wiki page you linked but yeah, they were only about 1mm diameter.
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Re: Long white worm thing....

Postby Grandpa Caver » Jun 27, 2011 4:33 pm

I've seen horsehair worms a couple times but the ones I encountered were either very dark brown or black as were the examples I found on the web. I wonder if these could be troglobytic?
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Re: Long white worm thing....

Postby tncaver » Jun 27, 2011 5:32 pm

They are definitely pure white although the one I saw was in the daylight zone of an entrance pit.
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Re: Long white worm thing....

Postby Marduke » Jun 27, 2011 5:44 pm

These were in the daylight zone of Fountain Pit. When crawling directly under one, all I could think about is their visual similarity to the Guinea Worm, and it weirded me out a bit. I knew it was not one, but it was a hard feeling to shake.
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Re: Long white worm thing....

Postby tncaver » Jun 27, 2011 6:16 pm

Marduke wrote:These were in the daylight zone of Fountain Pit. When crawling directly under one, all I could think about is their visual similarity to the Guinea Worm, and it weirded me out a bit. I knew it was not one, but it was a hard feeling to shake.


Dang that thing does look just like a Guinea worm. I hope it isn't. Maybe I should read up on those things some more.
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Re: Long white worm thing....

Postby Marduke » Jun 27, 2011 9:22 pm

Stock market worm displays a loss...
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Re: Long white worm thing....

Postby self-deleted_user » Jun 27, 2011 10:17 pm

Marduke wrote:These were in the daylight zone of Fountain Pit. When crawling directly under one, all I could think about is their visual similarity to the Guinea Worm, and it weirded me out a bit. I knew it was not one, but it was a hard feeling to shake.


You didn't see the two back behind where the "waterfall" would have been? I saw two back there as well. I guess there is prolly a bit of light back there still though, they weren't super far into the crack. But they weren't out where the sun falls down into the pit like the others.

Also eww, should not google "Guinea Worm" before bed. Eww eww eww. :panic:
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Re: Long white worm thing....

Postby Spike » Jun 28, 2011 8:11 am

My first reaction was Gordian worm of some sort. I've seen them dark brown and light tan but not white. Troglobitic wold not surprise me given their hosts. Also the adults prefer being in a stream or someplace else very very wet, like a pool so seeing one on a wall is strange. As always in cave biology, could be something new.
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Re: Long white worm thing....

Postby self-deleted_user » Jun 28, 2011 8:14 am

If it's new, does that mean I get to name it 'cause I have the first photos of it? If so can I call it Slinky? 'Cause it reminds me of slinkies.
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Re: Long white worm thing....

Postby tncaver » Jun 28, 2011 11:48 am

Perhaps a biologist could get cave permits all over the country in an attempt to find these long white worms in caves. :big grin:
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