The present study examined phenotypic variation in infectivity of Diplostomum spathaceum (Trematoda) cercariae within a natural population. Twelve infected Lymnaea stagnalis were collected from the field, and the infectivity of cercariae from individual snails was assessed under constant laboratory conditions. At a water temperature of 16.3 C, the mean infectivity of cercariae from the snails varied between 55.5% and 87.5%. Depending on the source of variation, this may have important ecological and evolutionary implications for both natural parasite populations and those occurring in aquaculture.
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