The adult inhabits the bile ducts of herbivorous mammals or humans. The immature eggs are passed in the faeces. The eggs enter the water, and hatch into a miracidium larva within 2 weeks. The larvae seek out the snail Lymnaea trunculata, and will die if they fail to find one in 24 hours. The miracidium penetrates the soft tissues of the snail, where it metamorphoses into a sporocyst. The final hosts are infected by ingestion of raw vegetation or water containing encysted metacercaria.