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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


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.

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The authors thank the Natal Sharks Board and Department of Biodiversity at the University of Limpopo (UL) for field and laboratory support, Ms A. Möller (UL) for assistance with SEM observations, Mr R Sandrock (UL) and Mr C Visser (UL) for help with photos and illustrations, Prof. PAS Olivier (UL) for advice regarding the manuscript and the Research and Development Administration (UL) for financial support.

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Correspondence to Susan M. Dippenaar.

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Dippenaar, S.M., Jordaan, B.P. 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. Syst Parasitol 65, 27–41 (2006). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11230-006-9037-7

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  • Corrugate Surface
  • Plumose Seta
  • Dorsal Plate
  • Parasitic Copepod
  • Frontal Plate