Causes of inter-individual variation in reproductive strategies of the parasitic nematode Graphidioides subterraneus.
Journal - Parasitology research (Germany )
Several factors capable of affecting the amount of resources available to an individual parasite, such as the number of other parasites in the host or host quality, may cause variability in reproductive success among parasites. Variation in egg output and mean egg volume was investigated among adult females of the nematode Graphidioides subterraneus, parasitic in the herbivorous subterranean rodent Ctenomys talarum (Octodontidae). Female nematode body size correlated strongly with the number of eggs produced. However, neither host body mass nor the number of other nematodes per host had any influence on the number or volume of eggs produced by the parasites. There was also no evidence for a trade-off between the number of eggs produced and mean egg volume among female nematodes. All these results suggest that resource supply to individual worms is not limited by host size or by the number of conspecific parasites vying for the same resources, despite the 30-fold variation in intensity of infection and the twofold variation in host body mass observed in the present study. Instead, resource availability does not appear to constrain reproduction in G. subterraneus, with its host providing a stable, predictable environment.
|ISSN : ||0932-0113|
|Mesh Heading : ||Animals Arthrodermataceae Body Size Female Host-Parasite Interactions Nematoda Parasite Egg Count Reproduction Rodentia anatomy & histology|
|Mesh Heading Relevant : ||physiology|