Pulmonate snails (Helisoma anceps) of varying sizes were exposed to 2, 4, 8, or 16 eggs of Halipegus occidualis and observed over several months to determine the duration of the prepatent period. Infection probability was positively correlated with number of eggs ingested. The number of eggs ingested did not, however, have a significant effect on the duration of the prepatent period, presumably because low infectivity of the eggs (15%) dictated that most patent infections arose from a single miracidium. There was a significant, positive correlation between snail length (measured at time of exposure) and duration of prepatent period, suggesting that density-dependent effects are, in part, responsible for the initiation of cercariae production in H. occidualis.

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