Wednesday, 9 September 2015

Creature 344: Euhaplorchis californiensis





Another mind altering parasite

Euhaplorchis californiensis is a flatworm parasite which has three different hosts.
Фото: Паразиты, способные управлять поведением своих хозяев (Фотогалерея)

These flatworms parasitise horn snails then killfish than shorebirds. No individual will see all three hosts in their lifetime, but the hosts all form separate parts of a reproductive cycle.
The horn snail picks up the infection from the droppings of infected shorebirds. Infected snails suffer a severe reduction in their fertility.  The parasites will multiply inside the snail for a few generations until they morph into a more mobile form. At this point they swim out into the marshes and find a killfish host.
A Cyst on the fish's brain, When this parasite infects the fish's brain, the parasite doesn't inhibit the fish. The fish can still swim and obtain food just as well as any other fish
They enter the body through the gills and invade the central nervous system of the killfish. They alter the brain chemistry and cause the killfish to behave erratically,  resulting in an infected fish being 30 times more likely to be preyed upon by a shorebird.
They infect the shorebirds gut, releasing the eggs into the feaces, and the cycle continues.
Distribution:
Euhaplorchis californiensis is found in saltwater marshes in Southern California.

Classification:
Kingdom:Animalia
Phylum: Platyhelminthes
Class: Trematoda
Order: Opisthorchiida
Family: Heterophyidae
Genus:Euhaplorchis
Species: Euhaplorchis californiensis

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