, Volume 65, Issue 1, pp 27-41
Date: 05 May 2006

Nesippus orientalis Heller, 1868 (Pandaridae: Siphonostomatoida): descriptions of the adult, young and immature females, a first description of the male and aspects of their functional morphology

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Abstract

Nesippus orientalis Heller, 1868, a cosmopolitan species found in the mouth and on the gill-arches of a number of shark hosts, is distinguished from other species by the presence of dorsal plates on the fourth thoracic segment. Specimens were collected from various sharks caught in the nets of the Natal Sharks Board, off the coast of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. Collected specimens were preserved in 70% ethanol and studied using the wooden slide technique and scanning electron microscopy. Careful examination of adult females revealed features previously not described in detail. Furthermore, some female specimens were still grasping the placoid scales of their hosts. These specimens showed how the maxillipeds are used to clasp the host. Immature, young females and males, some still attached to the young females, were also collected. The males use their maxillipeds, which have a slightly different structure to those of the female, to hold onto the females.