Greek: physa = bladder; pteron = wing.
Genus of the nematodes of the family Physalopteridae (order Spirurida = roll-in-tails). The species of the genus Physaloptera Rudolphi, 1819 occur mainly in the stomach, but sometimes also in the small intestines of amphibians, reptiles, birds, and a wide range of insectivorous and omnivorous mammals throughout the world. The females reach sizes of up to 4 cm and a width of about 1 mm, while males measure up to 3 cm in length but have diameters of less than 1 mm. The life cycles involve insects as intermediate hosts and reptiles etc. as paratenic hosts. The adults attack firmly at the wall of the stomach and duodenum, where they feed on the mucosa and suck blood thus introducing severe erosions. Examples: Physaloptera rara occurs in felids; P. clausa (syn. P. dispar) is found in hedgehogs (measuring 1.9–3.5 cm × 1.5 mm).