Published online by Cambridge University Press: 28 May 2013
A total of 850 pre-adult Galba truncatula (shell height, 4 mm), originating from four French snail populations differing in shell height at the adult stage (from 6.5 to 12 mm), were individually subjected at 20°C to single-miracidium infections with Fascioloides magna. At day 75 post-exposure, the surviving snails were dissected, and rediae and cercariae were counted. Snail groups differed in shell growth during the experiment: from 1.8 ± 0.4 mm in group A up to 4.0 ± 1.1 mm in group D. The prevalence of F. magna infection, the numbers of free rediae and cercariae significantly increased together with increasing growth of infected snails during the experiment. Group A produced 1–6 first-generation rediae per snail and the mean daughter redia production ranged from 7.5 second-generation rediae (when a single first generation per snail developed) to 2.3 (6 first-generation rediae per snail). In contrast, up to ten first-generation rediae were noted in group D, and each mother redia gave daughter rediae with averages ranging from 1.5 (ten first-generation rediae per snail) to 13 (a single first generation per snail). In conclusion, the development of F. magna in G. truncatula exhibited both inter- and intrapopulation variability, where the development of rediae and cercariae was positively correlated with snail growth.