Divergence of biological performance of a laboratory-reared population of Moniliformis moniliformis (Acanthocephala) was investigated after 31 yr, or approximately 60 generations, of genetic isolation. An isolate of the laboratory-reared population and isolates of 2 wild populations were used to begin 3 independent life cycles that were maintained for 1 generation for interbreeding and life history trait comparison. Both wild population isolates represented populations with open gene flow. One wild population isolate represented a present-day sample of descendants of the parent population of the laboratory isolate. All 3 populations hybridized, and egg production occurred in all mixed-sex pairs of different populations. The 3 populations did not differ significantly in prepatent period, mean daily egg production, or establishment within the definitive host Rattus norvegicus. The 3 populations varied in patent period, but the laboratory-isolated worms differed from the 2 wild population isolates no more than they did from each other. A positive correlation between mean daily egg production and duration of patent period resulted in different cumulative egg productions. A 31-yr period of isolation did not produce greater divergence in a laboratory population of M. moniliformis than occurs between wild populations with respect to the biological parameters measured.

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