RUMEN FLUKES (PARAMPHISTOMUM SPP.) IN MOOSE OF NORTHWESTERN ONTARIO
Rumen flukes (Paramphistomum spp.) were found in 86% of 160 moose examined from northwestern Ontario throughout the year. The number of flukes per moose ranged from 16 to 28,262 (median = 1,135). The intensity of infection did not vary with age with the exception of calves (0.5-1.4 years) which had fewer flukes. Adult rumen flukes were found in dense aggregations in the rumenus atrium where they caused loss of papillae at the site of attachment. Small, newly acquired flukes were first seen in the rumen of calves and older moose in October period no intestinal lesions due to migration of flukes were seen.
Few gravid flukes were found in moose during the winter. The proportion of worms with eggs increased in March and April and 100% were gravid from may to July. Thereafter, the proportion gravid declined, reaching 0.5% in November. Changes in the number of eggs in the feces of moose followed the same seasonal pattern as the proportion of gravid worms.
The seasonal maturation of rumen flukes is considered an adaptation that synchronizes the production of eggs with their access to water. Paramphistome eggs were killed by freezing and desiccation. Eggs held at 11℃ did not develop. When the temperature was raised to 19℃, eggs began to hatch after 26 days.
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