Abstract

We examined the effect of Plagiorchis elegans on egg production and survival on Bulinus truncatus and Helisoma trivolvis trivolvis. Both species are incompatible hosts for P. elegans. Helisoma t. trivolvis occurs sympatrically with P. elegans; B. truncatus does not. Overall, P. elegans had no effect on survivorship or egg production in H. t. trivolvis or on the survivorship of B. truncatus. Its effect on egg production in B. truncatus was transitory; egg production was reduced by 50% for 5 wk following exposure but returned to normal thereafter. Neither egg production nor survivorship was affected in adult H. t. trivolvis. Egg production ceased at 14 wk post-exposure (PE), but resumed when the snails were paired. Young H. t. trivolvis also produced eggs after exposure, but later than the adults and only after they had been paired with another snail. This suggests that a need for periodic cross-fertilization in H. t. trivolvis rather than the effect of the parasite is responsible for the cessation of egg production in this species. Survivorship in young H. t. trivolvis was significantly higher in exposed snails between wk 7 to 10 PE than in controls.

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