Quantitative studies of a crowding effect on cysticercoids of Hymenolepis diminuta in the intermediate host are few and limited in scope. In this study, we developed a technique to rapidly collect morphological information on large numbers of parasites, and verified the utility of geometric models for simple and accurate estimation of cysticercoid size for quantitative studies. These models were tested using measurements from 4,899 H. diminuta obtained from 666 Tribolium confusum exposed 1–4 wk previously. Length, width, and depth of the body and cercomer (when present) can be used in conjunction with these models to provide the most accurate estimation of parasite size. However, parasite body length alone can be used, with adjustment for effects of host diet and infection intensity, to predict the remaining measurements in incomplete specimens. Parasites that developed in higher intensity infections, or in hosts with reduced food intake, were narrower and had a proportionately shorter cercomer. Host age, sex, and mating status, and parasite age also had statistically significant, but small-magnitude, effects on parasite shape.
SHAPE VARIATION OF CYSTICERCOIDS OF HYMENOLEPIS DIMINUTA (CYCLOPHYLLIDEA) FROM FED, PARTIALLY FED, AND FASTED TRIBOLIUM CONFUSUM (COLEOPTERA)
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Allen W. Shostak, John G. Walsh, Yuen C. Wong; SHAPE VARIATION OF CYSTICERCOIDS OF HYMENOLEPIS DIMINUTA (CYCLOPHYLLIDEA) FROM FED, PARTIALLY FED, AND FASTED TRIBOLIUM CONFUSUM (COLEOPTERA). J Parasitol 1 August 2006; 92 (4): 756–763. doi: https://doi.org/10.1645/GE-765R.1
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