Ultrastructure and Chaetotaxy of Sensory Receptors in the Cercaria of a Species of Allopodocotyle Pritchard, 1966 (Digenea: Opecoelidae)|
T Bogéa & JN Caira
Previous investigations of sensory systems in opecoelid cercariae have focused on chaetotaxy and ultrastructure of sensory receptors. They revealed chaetotaxic patterns within family, genus, and species as well as different receptors. Chaetotaxic and ultrastructural observations have rarely been combined. We investigated the ultrastructure of cercarial sensory receptors in conjunction with chaetotaxy and neuromorphology in a species of Allopodocotyle. Cercariae were treated with acetylthiocholine iodide and silver nitrate, and some were processed for light, scanning (SEM), and transmission (TEM) electron microscopy. Five nerve regions were distinguished. Chaetotaxy was consistent with that of other opecoelids. Five types of receptors were distinguished with SEM. Types differed in number of cilium-like structures (one or more), length of cilium-like structure (short, moderately long, or long), presence or absence of a tegumentary collar, and length of tegumentary collar (low, moderately low, or very high). Internal ultrastructure of some types revealed unsheathed cilium-like structures, basal body, and thickened nerve collars. Possible subtegumentary and sheathed receptors are introduced. Some receptor types were site-specific. For example, receptors with multiple cilium-like structures were concentrated on cephalic region whereas receptors with short cilium-like structure were widespread throughout most regions. Ultrastructure and site-specificity observations suggest that most receptors are mechanoreceptors.
cercaria, sensory receptors, Allopodocotyle, chaetotaxy, ultrastructure, functional morphology