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Incidence of Digenea larvae in Heleobia parchappii (Mollusca, Gastropoda, Cochliopidae)

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We scored the presence of Digenea larvae in the gonadal follicles and digestive glands of males and females of a Heleobia parchappii (d’Orbigny, 1835) (Mollusca, Cochliopidae) population living in an artificial lake located adjacent to an anthropically impacted area, region of Tigre in the Province of Buenos Aires, Argentina; making seven samplings from May 2005 through May 2006. In the laboratory, we separated subsamples for both histology and parasite-emergence assessment. The former examined the gonadal-development stages in relation to larval presence along with the effect of the larvae on the gonadal tissue and calculated parasite prevalence per age and size. Larval prevalence increased with host length and was greater in post-reproductive-stage individuals, with those >7.5 mm long reaching 100% parasitization. That stage became maximal in August, while juveniles predominated in December and January. The females were predominant almost throughout the year, but were parasitized at the same frequency as the males (p=0.38). This year-round H. parchappii parasitization indicates that Digenea can complete their life cycle in an anthropically impacted environment, thus affecting the autochthonous fauna, pets, and even humans. Mollusk parasitization by Digenea larvae is used to evaluate anthropic environmental pressure as an indicator of pollution by wastes, chemicals, or other refuse resulting from the human presence. The study site exemplifies the recent spate of urban construction projects characterized by housing developments around modified water bodies. Keywords. Cochliopidae, digenea larvae, histology, Buenos Aires, Argentina

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digenea larvae

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