Free-living and parasitic larval development of the snake parasite
Rhabdias elaphe Sharpilo, 1976 was experimentally studied. The life
cycle of the species included homogonic and heterogonic ways of
development. Free-living population of R. elaphe consisted
of rhabditoid larvae, adult males and females of the free-living
generation and infective larvae of both homogonic and heterogonic types.
Homogonic stages predominated in the cultures with
the average ratio of 10.9:1. In the free-living generation males were more
numerous than females (average ratio 2.6:1). Matricidal hatching was not
observed in the development of free-living generation's offspring. Homo-
and heterogonic infective larvae were similar in
Juvenile grass snakes (Narix natrix) were experimentally infected per os by R. elaphe infective larvae. Exsheathed third-stage larvae were observed in the body cavity of experimental hosts on the seventh day post infection. Late third-stage larvae and subgravid parasites were obtained from the same site 7 18 days post infection.