The naturally oviposited egg of Dasymetra conferta is fully embryonated and it hatches only after it is ingested by the snail host, Physa spp.
Hatching appears to be in response to some stimulus supplied by the living snail. The stimulus causes the larva to exercise a characteristic series of body movements and to liberate a granular sustance (hatching enzyme) from the larger pair of its cephalic glands. This enzyme reacts with the vitelline fluid to create pressure within the egg capsule, and with the cementum of the operculum, so that it may be lifted away. The larva's escape from the shell, therefore, is due to a combination of pressure and body movements.
The hatched larva has a membranous body wall, supporting six epidermal plates, an apical papilla, two penetration glands and a central matrix (the presumptive brood mass).
It lives for about an hour within the snail and during this time there is a reorganization of the central matrix which terminates in the formation of an 8-nucleated syncytial brood mass.
The miracidial ‘case’, consisting of the body wall and the epidermal plates, ultimately ruptures to liberate the brood mass. Once the brood mass is free it penetrates through the gut wall in an incredibly short time.