Objective To detect the species of larval trematodes (cercariae) in Melanopsis praemorsa snails from 5 different fresh water bodies in Palestine.
Methods A total of 1 880 Melanopsis praemorsa snails were collected from different fresh water bodies in Palestine from October, 2008 to November, 2010. Cercariae in Melanopsis praemorsa snails were obtained by lighting and crushing methods. The behavior of cercariae was observed using a dissecting microscope.
Results Three different species of larval trematodes were identified from Melanopsis praemorsa snails collected only from Al-Bathan fresh water body, while snails from other water bodies were not infected. These species were microcercous cercaria, xiphidiocercaria and brevifurcate lophocercous cercaria. These cercariae called Cercaria melanopsi palestinia I, Cercaria melanopsi palestinia II and Cercaria melanopsi palestinia III have not been described before from this snail in Palestine. The infection rate of Melanopsis praemorsa collected from Al-Bathan fresh water body was 5.7%, while the overall infection rate of snails collected from all fresh water bodies was 4.3%. Details are presented on the morphology and behavior of the cercariae as well as their development within the snail.
Conclusions These results have been recorded for the first time and these cercariae may be of medical and veterinary importance.