"So, naturalists observe, a flea has smaller fleas that on him prey; and these have smaller still to bite ’em; and so proceed ad infinitum."
- Jonathan Swift

April 2, 2011

Philophthalmus gralli - update on the "Parasite of 2010"

Last year the most “yuck” votes were cast for a photo of Philophthalmus gralli in the eyes of a rhea at the Phoenix Zoo. Melanie Church, the vet who treated the rheas, gave me a back-door tour of the zoo in January. The three rheas are doing fine. She removed most of the flukes manually, treated the eyes with an anthelmintic ointment, and the birds are now virtually parasite-free. The rheas have been moved to a pen where the snail intermediate hosts are not present to prevent re-infection.

Contributed by Mike Kinsella.

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