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The first written account of a nematode parasite of ants was made by the Reverend William Gould in his 1747 book An account of English Ants (Table 1) [2].The “white and long kind of worm, which is often met within their bodies” certainly refers to mermithid nematodes.

in 20–30-million-year-old Dominican amber (Figure 5) [11].Fossil records of mermithids, tetradonematids, allantonematids, and diplogastrids associated with ants reveal the evolutionary history of these associations, some of which date back 40 million years.The family Mermithidae includes parasites of invertebrates, especially insects.When mermithid eggs are ingested by a paratenic host, the hatching infective stage penetrates the gut wall and enters the body cavity.But instead of developing, the mermithid encysts and enters a diapause.Because of their large size, mermithids are easily detected in ants upon dissection (Figure 1) or as they leave their hosts (Figure 2).

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