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General Description

Body short, round, sexually mature females 4-6 mm in length, .5 mm in width; males shorter; juveniles flattened, .90 ± .05 mm in length, .30 ± .01 mm wide; head not demarcated from body, without cerebral grooves. Color pink to reddish orange; epidermis furrowed longitudinally; opaque

due to numerous white spots becoming more transparent in sexually mature, large worms; head lighter color; preserved specimens opaque offwhite. Single pair of ocelli near tip of head; irregular, 27 X 13 ,um bilobed brain on either side posterior to ocelli. Proboscis small, armed with single stylet; accessory stylets absent; posterior chamber with thickened, glandular walls; chamber elongated, approximately 100 X 50 ,um; middle chamber round, thinner walled than posterior; approximately 40 um in diameter; anterior chamber thin walled and narrow (Fig. 1). Stylet surrounded by glandular cells; basis 35.1 ± .3 ,um in length, slightly tapered from posterior to anterior, approximately 10 um in diameter at posterior, 5 um in diameter at anterior; stylet 11.0 .2 um. Esophagus large, everted during feeding (Fig. 2); intestine straight with

several lateral pouches on both sides. Mature females with 20-25 ovaries on each side of body between gut pouches. Sexual maturity first externally apparent when ovaries appear as single row of transparent spots on both sides of body (Fig. 3); gut pouches and ovaries become visible when females fully mature, less obvious in males. Found only on crab Cancer magister; juveniles on surface of exoskeleton within limb axillae and under abdomen; adult on and in host egg mass.

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Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial 3.0 (CC BY-NC 3.0)

© Keen, Eric

Source: Nemertea

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