The morphology of the parasitic isopod Tachaea chinensis (Isopoda, Cymothoida) revealed through scanning electron microscopy and histological analysis

In: Crustaceana
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  • 1 College of Animal Science and Veterinary Medicine, Shenyang Agricultural University, Dongling Road 120, Shenyang 110866, P.R. China
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Parasitic isopods have negative effects on several commercially important fishes and crustaceans. However, studies on these parasites, especially on their morphology, are limited. In the present study, scanning electron microscopy and simultaneous histological analysis were carried out to examine the external structure and composition of the internal organs of Tachaea chinensis (Isopoda, Corallanidae). Seven pairs of pereopods are sharp and hook-like, which are used for attaching to the host. Four pairs of the paddle-shaped pleopods indicate that it has the ability to swim freely. Analysis of the mouth appendages revealed that T. chinensis mainly feeds on the host’s blood. Moreover, we found numerous glands, including the salivary glands and hepatopancreas, in the coelom; loose connective tissue was also found in the ventral body cavity, which appeared to be a vestigial gonad. In addition, the description of the gland also provides valuable empirical data for future research.

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