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Description of Retortamonads

Circumscription: Heterotrophic flagellates, typically with two or four flagella, mostly commensal or parasitic but at least one free-living taxon known. Excavate, in the sense that the flagella sit at the head of a ventral feeding groove with ingestion occurring at the base of the groove. Ultrastructural identity: Without mitochondria, flagella associated with four basal bodies arranged in a cruciate pattern or in separated pairs (giving rise to two major microtubular roots, which support the margins of the ventral feeding groove and are associated with some nonmicrotubular strands. Microtubules, which underlie the dorsal cell surface, arise from a band (lapel) of dense material near the basal bodies. Extrusomes not reported, no dictyosomes. Synapomorphy: None known, possibly a cytoskeletal lapel dorsal to flagellar anchorage, or hook-shape of anterior part of right microtubular root. Composition: Two known genera, Chilomastix and Retortamonas.

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