Papers in the Biological Sciences


Date of this Version



Published in the Journal of Parasitology (April 1992) 78(2): 334-337. Copyright 1992, the American Society of Parasitologists. Used by permission.


Reciprocal cross-stadia experimental infections were used to demonstrate stadium specificity within the gregarine assemblage parasitizing Tenebrio molitor, the yellow mealworm. Gregarina cuneata, Gregarina polymorpha, and Gregarina steini are characteristic parasites of larval T. molitor. Gregarina niphandrodes is a characteristic parasite of adult T. molitor. Experimental infections were produced in all homologous host-parasite combinations. No infection was produced in heterologous or cross-stadia combinations. This study introduces the concept of separate, distinct parasite niches corresponding to separate life cycle stages and established by known, predictable life cycle events within a single host species.