Ascocotyle pachycystis

Ascocotyle pachycystis Schroeder and Leigh, 1965

As part of the study of the life cycle of this parasite that typically infects raccoons, kittens were experimentally infected (Schroeder RE, Leigh WH. 1965. The life history of Ascocotylepachycystis sp. n., a trematode (Digenea: Heterophyidae) from the raccoon in south Florida. J Parasitol 51:594-599.). The snail, Littotadinops tenuipes, is the snail in which development occurs. The cercariae that are produced have pigmented eyespots short unbranched tails with lateral fins. These cercariae penetrate the fins of brackish-water fish (Cyprinodon variegatus) and then migrate to the bulbus arteriosus of the heart where very large numbers might occur. When kittens were fed fish containing metacercariae, some developed infections while others appeared refractory.

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