Aspects of the Life Cycle of Apharyngostrigea Pipientis in Central Florida Wetlands

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Florida Southern College
Apharyngostrigea pipientis (Trematoda: Strigeidae) is known to form metacercariae around the pericardium of anuran tadpoles in Michigan and other northern locations. Definitive hosts are thought to be wading birds, while the intermediate host is a freshwater snail. Apharyngostrigea pipientis is not commonly reported from Florida, yet we have found several populations of snails (Biopholaria havaensis) and tadpoles, primarily the Cuban treefrog (Osteopilus septentrionalis), to host this trematode. We used experimental infections to elucidate the transmission dynamics and development of A. pipientis inside the tadpole host. Surprisingly, we found two types (species?) of cercariae being shed from B. havaensis that enter Cuban treefrog tadpoles to form seemingly identical metacercariae. Further, both of these develop into metaceracariae inside the tadpoles over 5-7 days after wondering inside the host's body cavity as mesocercariae, and metacercariae are commonly concentrated around the pericardium cavity. However, they differ in entry mode, with one being ingested, whereas the other penetrates the skin. This project is ongoing.
Honors Thesis Fall 2016
Apharyngostrigea pipientis, Central Florida wetlands