A previous study has shown that, under natural conditions, energy reserves of the desert toad, Scaphiopus couchii, are negatively related to the density of infection by Pseudodiplorchis americanus. However, this was based predominantly on collections of active animals from breeding congregations and inevitably selected toads which were in good condition. The parasite, a blood-feeding monogenean, occurs in burdens of up to 30 worms/host (mean intensity 6 worms/host) and represents a significant drain on reserves because the host does not feed during a 10-month hibernation. Field studies cannot resolve the possibility that larger worm densities are not observed in nature due to parasite-induced host mortality. The present study was conducted during investigations of P. americanus development and survival under controlled laboratory conditions, utilizing experimentally infected hosts which created worm densities larger than those observed in natural populations. At all temperature regimes, infected animals had smaller fat bodies than those uninfected but differences were generally not statistically significant due to large individual variations, presumably resulting from variations in past feeding efficiency. At cool temperatures (15–20 °C) there was no density-dependent effect on host fat body weight, and at a diurnal temperature cycle of 20–34 °C (simulating that experienced by host and parasite during the summer months), the effects of high temperatures were greater than the effects of infection, due to increased toad metabolic rates. The most significant effects of P. americanus were observed in hosts that began hibernation in relatively poor condition and experienced moderate temperatures (25 °C) during hibernation. The toads generally maintained packed blood cell levels (PCV) levels even when fat body weights were low, but infected animals had a lower PCV irrespective of fat body levels. In animals unfed after field collection, PCV was reduced in uninfected toads and was even lower in infected animals. Although very heavily infected toads (burdens of 35–95 worms/host) were generally in poorer condition than uninfected toads they still survived long-term hibernation under extreme nutritional stress. This study therefore confirmed observations made in field studies that there is a density-dependent relationship between the hosts' survival prospects and P. americanus infection. However, given the large variability in feeding efficiency and stored resources between individual toads, there is no evidence that the most heavily infected toads would have been unrepresented in field samples due to parasite-induced mortality.