A major weakness of the Baermann funnel technique for extracting nematode larvae from feces is the funnel. As many as 67% of Parelaphostrongylus tenuis first-stage larvae lodged on the sloping surface of glass Baermann funnels. The number of larvae collected after 24 hr was not significantly correlated with total numbers in the samples, whether feces were supported over tissue paper or over window screening. Instead, we collected about 8 times as many larvae and achieved a significant relationship between larvae collected and the total numbers present when pelleted fecal material was submerged over screening in vertical-sided beakers. The methodology of this more efficient and more accurate way of estimating numbers of protostrongylid larvae is described. Most larvae were located on and in the mucous layer covering fecal pellets and readily left fresh pellets emersed in water; 72% of these larvae left after 6 min and only 11% remained after 1 hr. Larvae in water at room temperature sank as fast as 6 cm/min, but those close to a vertical glass surface sank more slowly (97% sank 18.5 cm in 105 min).
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Vol. 33 • No. 3