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The life cycle of Haplorchis pumilio (Trematoda: Heterophyidae) from the Indian region

  • K. Umadevi (a1) and R. Madhavi (a1)

The life cycle of the heterophyid fluke, Haplorchis pumilio is elucidated for the first time from the Indian region. Various stages in the life cycle were established based on observations made on natural infections found in snails and fish in a freshwater stream at Visakhapatnam, India and experimental infections carried out in the laboratory. The thiarid snail, Thiara tuberculata served as the first intermediate host and a wide range of freshwater fish as second intermediate hosts. Natural infections with adult flukes were found in the piscivorous birds Ardeola grayii and Bubulcus ibis. Adults were raised experimentally in day-old chicks. Distinguishing features of the cercaria of H. pumilio are: a large body size (200–224×92–96 μm), body–tail ratio of 1:2.1 and densely distributed pigment granules in the parenchyma imparting a brownish tinge to the body. Natural infections with metacercariae were found in the freshwater fish Channa punctatus, C. orientalis, Puntius sophore, Gambusia affinis and fingerlings of Cyprinus carpio and Liza macrolepis. Additionally, experimental infections were established in Therapon jarbua, Esomus danricus and Oreochromis mossambica. Metacercariae were embedded in the caudal muscles of fish and heavy infections induced mortality. Metacercariae were infective at about 15 days of age.

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Journal of Helminthology
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