The progenetic opecoelid trematode Coitocaecum parvum can reproduce either precociously by selfing in its second intermediate amphipod host or by mating in its normal definitive fish host. In this study, we describe and compare the infection parameters and some life history traits of both egg-producing worms and non–egg producing worms in both their second intermediate and definitive hosts. We showed that 58% of worms start to produce eggs while still in the amphipod. The relative abundance of progenetic worms increased with amphipod size, and egg-producing worms achieved greater size in amphipods than in fish. These 2 findings support the reproductive insurance hypothesis. No difference in size was revealed between eggs produced in the amphipods and those produced in the fish. Although more information is needed to thoroughly assess the respective costs and benefits of selfing and mating in this species, our conclusion is that adopting progenesis may have few, if any, long-term negative consequences for the parasite.
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