Adults of the porocephalid pentastomid Porocephalus crotali infect the lung of rattlesnake definitive hosts and larvae develop in rat intermediate hosts. In the latter, nymphs encyst within a variety of tissue sites (commonly abdominal fat bodies and lungs) and each becomes the focus of an eosinophilic granuloma. From an early stage in infections, granulomas become increasingly infiltrated by mast cells which, using conventional histology and paired immunofluorescence against mast cell proteases, appear to be exclusively of the mucosal phenotype. Mucosal mast cells are concentrated along the dorsal region of the parasite and in a plug of tissue containing degenerating cuticles within independent granulomas, which is located between its head and tail. ELISAs against the rat mast cell proteases I and II (RMCP I and II), extracted from abdominal fat, lung, spleen, liver and kidney granulomas at various intervals post-infection, reveal a substantially elevated concentration of RMCP II in all lesions. In fat, concentrations increase up to about 100 days post-infection, at which time moulting ceases and inflammatory responses subside. RMCP II was scarcely detectable in matched control tissues. Unlike infections with certain nematode parasites, where enteric mucosal mast cells secrete RMCP II systemically, concentrations of RMCP II in the serum of infected rats were significantly reduced when compared with age-matched uninfected controls. These results confirm that P. crotali can selectively recruit mucosal mast cells to a variety of tissue sites, most of which are non-mucosal. Possible mechanisms are discussed.