Free-swimming naupliar larva is tiny, with body length of about 0.002 in (0.05 mm) in closely related species. Nauplius is infective stage, seeking out potential host, attaching by means of clawed antennae and mandibles, and burrowing through body surface of host. Once inside the host's blood system, nau-plius transforms into sac-like body and larval limbs grow into absorptive rootlets. Development proceeds inside host until fifth copepodid stage, which exits host through body wall, undertakes single molt into adult, and begins short, non-feeding planktonic phase.

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