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Parasite. 2008 Sep;15(3):396-401.

Alternative life cycle strategies of Megalodiscus temperatus in tadpoles and metamorphosed anurans.

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1
Department of Biology, University of Nebraska, Kearney, Nebraska 68849, USA. bolekmg@unk.edu

Abstract

Megalodiscus temperatus (Stafford, 1905) is a common paramphistome trematode of North American amphibians with a two host life cycle and has been reported to infect frogs and rarely tadpoles. In this study we document the alternative life cycle strategy of M. temperatus in tadpoles and metamorphosed anurans. We show through field work and experimental infections that M. temperatus can establish in both anuran life stages and worms become gravid and release eggs in both tadpoles and metamorphosed frogs. However, worms exhibit differences in route of infection, development, egg production, and diet in tadpoles and metamorphosed anurans. These alternative life history strategies of M. temperatus suggest different selective pressures on the development and reproductive success of these worms in tadpoles and metamorphosed anurans, and we discuss the evolutionary avenues for and constraints on amphibian trematode life cycles presented by these two different anuran life stages.

PMID:
18814713
DOI:
10.1051/parasite/2008153396
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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