Most tongue worms, approximately 96%, live in tetrapod definitive hosts that are widespread in the tropics and sub-tropics. Only a few species are found outside these regions. Porocephalus crotali is unique in that it is cold-adapted, infecting North American rattlesnakes, which hibernate each winter. Reighardia sternae is a cosmopolitan species in gulls and terns, which are widespread in both hemispheres. Another cosmopolitan species, Linguatula serrata, lives in the nasal sinuses of canines (dogs, foxes, wolves), whereas the reindeer host of Linguatula arctica, inhabits the arctic tundra.

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