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Distribution of the plerocercoid of Ligula intestinalis


  • T. S. C. Orr

    1. Imperial College Field Station, Ashurst Lodge, Sunninghill, Ascot, Berkshire and Wellcome Laboratories for Experimental Parasitology, University of Glasgow, Bearsden, Glasgow
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The geographical distribution of the cestode Ligula intestinalis (Linnaeus 1758) is described with reference to the species of freshwater fish infected. Recent references indicate that the larval stage of this cestode is commonly reported from the Northern Hemisphere but less commonly from the Southern Hemisphere.

Cyprinid fish are infected in the Northern Hemisphere in the New and Old World, and where cyprinid fish are scarce, fish occupying a similar ecological position are infected. However, the infection of Yellow perch in North America and the absence of infected European perch may suggest that the form in the Yellow perch if not morphologically, may be physiologically, distinct.

In the Southern Hemisphere cyprinids have been reported as infected in Rhodesia and galaxids as infected in Australia. The infection of galaxids, some of which enter the sea to breed may indicate a possible method of distribution. It is suggested that transplantation of the larval cestode from the body cavity of one fish to another may yield more definite information as regards specificity.

The infection of fish, other than those listed, is reviewed with reference to those fish known to occur in habitats where fish infected with Ligula intestinalis also exist.

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