Lack of preference for infective faeces in Hymenolepis diminuta-infected beetles (Tenebrio molitor)

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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Abstract

The beetle-tapeworm life cycle provides a convenient system to study how host behaviour influences the probability of re-infection because initial and secondary infections can be tracked. The beetle, Tenebrio molitor, is infected with the tapeworm Hymenolepis diminuta when it ingests rat faeces containing tapeworm eggs, which upon hatching undergo five morphologically distinct stages while developing inside the beetle. In a series of preference trials, both individual and groups of previously infected beetles were exposed to baits of infective (faeces with eggs) and uninfective faeces. Beetles did not differ in the amount of time spent or in the number of occurrences at each bait type, suggesting that infected beetles show no preference for infective faeces. This may be a host adaptation to avoid further infection, parasite manipulation to avoid competition for host resources, or both. Further, once infected, beetles are no more or no less likely to become re-infected than uninfected beetles. An analysis of the mean and variance of infection suggests that some individuals are highly susceptible to and some are highly resistant to infection, with males being more variable than females. This could explain the higher load of cysticercoids observed in males.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)293-299
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Helminthology
Volume81
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 2007
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Hymenolepis diminuta
Tenebrio
Tenebrio molitor
Beetles
Feces
feces
Coleoptera
Cestoda
tapeworms
baits
infection
Eggs
Infection
cysticercoids
Parasitic Diseases
Life Cycle Stages
Coinfection
life cycle (organisms)
Analysis of Variance
hatching

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Parasitology
  • Animal Science and Zoology

Cite this

Lack of preference for infective faeces in Hymenolepis diminuta-infected beetles (Tenebrio molitor). / Shea, John.

In: Journal of Helminthology, Vol. 81, No. 3, 09.2007, p. 293-299.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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