Abstract Infection of the snail Lymnaea stagnalis with the schistosome parasite Trichobilharzia ocellata results in inhibition of reproduction and in giant growth. Parasite-related effects on the neuroendocrine centres that control these processes were studied electrophysiologically. Haemolymph from infected snails reduced the excitability of the caudodorsal cells, which control egg laying. In contrast, the excitability of the growth-controlling Light Green Cells was increased under these conditions. The endogenous anti-gonadotropic neuropeptide schistosomin, the presence of which is strongly enhanced in parasitized snails, induced similar effects. Schistosomin apparently plays an important role in the balance between reproduction and growth in Lymnaea. This balance is severely disturbed during parasitic infection, probably as a result of the release of the peptide.