The Morgellons Disease Conference, which is also called the Medical-Scientific Conference of Morgellons Disease, is an annual event that started seven years ago. The focus of the conference, which is put on by The Charles E. Holman Morgellons Disease Foundation, is of course Morgellons disease, an ailment that is characterized by a number of cutaneous symptoms (i.e., symptoms that affect the skin). People who suffer from Morgellons report stinging, biting, and crawling sensations on their skin, and some say they feel as if (and believe that) there are worms (or something like worms) underneath their skin. The annual Morgellons Disease Conference presents the latest research concerning the ailment, and specifically aims to inform healthcare providers of new developments in the field.
Given the overwhelming diversity that characterizes the insect world – there are millions of species currently in existence, and they could constitute up to 90 percent of all animal life forms on earth – it may come as a surprise that up until very recently, there were believed to be no amphibious insects. This long-held assumption changed when researches in Hawaii discovered caterpillars that were just as comfortable living on land as they were underwater. The caterpillars, of which there are several species, belong to the genus Hyposmocoma, which encompasses about a third of all butterflies and moths found in Hawaii. (Members of the genus are exclusively found in Hawaii as well.) Below we provide an overview of these amphibious caterpillars, the only known insects in the world, and possibly the only animals in the world, that are adapted to live on land and underwater.
We received an interesting and fairly perplexing question from a reader yesterday about “a bunch of small white worms or larva.” (It should be “larvae,” with that bizarre Latinate ending to indicate plurality, for the record.) The worms or larvae were found in a pond that is used by cattle at a dairy. The creatures in the pond are about an inch long and they have a tail that is about as long as the body. The reader sent a nice (if confusing) picture of the worms or larvae, which we have included below. What are these worms or larvae in the pond?
We received a question via the All About Worms Facebook page about a mysterious black worm in what appears to be some sort of ice. The black worm is largely covered by the ice (or whatever it is), but its midsection appears to be above the surface. The reader was herself sent the photo of the worm, but she couldn’t identify it, so she passed it along to us. She said it looks like its “something from aliens,” and indeed it kind of does. What is this mysterious black worm covered in ice (or some substance that resembles ice)?
We received a question from a reader a while ago about a small black and white worm he found in a carton. Actually, he didn’t ask a question so much as write us a statement, which went as follows: “worm found in sealed carton the color was black and white and about a half inch long.” (That’s the entire email.) We presume the reader found the worm in some sort of food carton because we don’t know any other carton one would likely find a worm in. (A milk carton? A cigarette carton? These seem like less inviting places for a worm.) As you can see, the reader didn’t directly ask any question, but we’re assuming he’s curious what he found. So, what is the black and white worm that our reader found in a (food) carton?