Why does it matter to you?

This particular species is an intermediate host for the causative fluke (worm) of schistosome dermatitis or more commonly known as "swimmer's itch".

Stagnicola catascopium becomes infected by the miracidia (a larval stage) of the causative fluke, most commonly, by coming in contact with the feces of ducks.

After the miracidia infect the snail they become cercaria (the second larval stage). The cercaria are then released into the water.

Photo of skin with swimmer's itch. Photo from MedlinePlus.    
Once the cercaria are in the water, if a person gets into the water they burrow into the skin. Because they can't get the nutrients they need the cercaria die under the skin causing a red, irritated bump that itches. (Leighton, 2011).


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