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Egg production by metacercariae of Microphallus papillorobustus: a reproductive insurance?

  • C.L. Wang (a1) and F. Thomas (a1)

Abstract

This study aimed to determine whether metacercariae of Microphallus papillorobustus (Trematoda: Microphallidae) produce eggs by self-fertilization when their intermediate host, the gammarid Gammarus insensibilis, dies before being eaten by predatory definitive hosts. Such a mechanism would allow the parasite to reproduce even if transmission fails. The percentage of metacercariae that produced eggs and the mean number of eggs were significantly higher in metacercariae placed in a Ringer's solution compared with those in salt water or metacercariae remaining inside the dead gammarid. The lack of egg production in metacercariae removed from dead gammarids in the field supported the idea that self-fertilization is not, for this parasite, a mechanism of reproductive insurance when establishment in the definitive hosts fails.

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*Author for correspondence Fax: (33) 04 67 41 62 99, E-mail: fthomas@mpl.ird.fr

References

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Egg production by metacercariae of Microphallus papillorobustus: a reproductive insurance?

  • C.L. Wang (a1) and F. Thomas (a1)

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