Trematodes from Succinea sp.

Leucochloridium sp. Quicktime-Video
ca. 1,4 MB

Leucochloridium sp. (Brachylaimoidea, Leucochloridiidae), a parasite of Passeriformes uses "Amber snails" (Succinea sp.) as intermediate hosts. The parasite eggs are spread with the birdīs faeces and afterwards ingested by the snails.The miracidia hatches within the intestine and penetrates into the host tissue, where it develops into a sporocyst. The sporocyst forms sausage-like swellings, which are colored conspicuously in white and green and are highly mobile. Those thickened parts of the sporocyst are protruded into the snailīs tentacles where they start to move rhythmically (picture 1, 2 and movie-clip). The aim of Leucochloridium is to arrest attention of a bird (final host) and to betray it to swallow the parasite (and the snail) by resembling a moving caterpillar. The metacercariae of Leucochloridium are located within the protruded sporocyst parts (picture 3, arrow) and hatch within the birds gut where they complish their development to adults.

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Christian Fuchs