Static electricity helps parasitic nematodes glom onto victims

The electric charge generated by a flying insect is strong enough to pull in a leaping nematode

A black and white image of a fruit surrounded by white lines that show the leaps of roundworms.

Leaping nematodes have an almost unerring ability to pounce on prey such as this fruit fly. The white trails show the arching paths of the parasitic roundworms’ leaps.

Víctor M. Ortega Jiménez

LAS VEGAS — Some species of parasitic roundworms can catapult themselves high into the air to latch onto fruit flies and other insects.