"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

October 4, 2010

October 4 -Gynaecotyla longiintestinata

Gynaecotyla longiintestinata is a marine trematode from the Aveiro estuary of Potugal. It is in the same family as Maritrema novaezealandensis- the Microphallidae. G. longiintestinata has a typical life-cycle for a trematode from the microphallid family - its uses a snail, in this case the intertidal whelk, Nassarius reticulatus, as a first intermediate host. From there, free-swimming larval stages called cercariae are produced and released into the environment, where they infect the second intermediate host, in this case the crab, Carcinus maenas. They occupy a very specific and peculiar microhabitat within the crab, namely its antennal glands. The definitive hosts of this parasite are shorebirds that feed on crabs.

Photo from:
Russell-Pinto, F. and Bartoli, P. (2002) Cercaria sevillana n. sp., a new cercaria (Digenea: Microphallidae) from Nassarius reticulatus (L.) (Mollusca: Prosobranchia) in Portugal. Systematic Parasitology 53: 175-182.

Contributed by Tommy Leung.

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