, Volume 452, Issue 1–3, pp 155–161 | Cite as

The musculature of Draculiciteria tessalata (Chaetonotida, Paucitubulatina): implications for the evolution of dorsoventral muscles in Gastrotricha

  • Rick Hochberg
  • Marianne Klauser Litvaitis


The muscular system of the marine interstitial gastrotrich Draculiciteria tessalata (Chaetonotida, Paucitubulatina) was analyzed with fluorescent phalloidin. Muscles in circular, longitudinal, helicoidal and dorsoventral orientations were found. Circular muscles were present as discreet rings on the pharynx only. Five pairs of longitudinal muscles were found in dorsal, lateral and ventral positions. One of the two pairs of lateral muscles is newly described for the species. Helicoidal muscles, external to the circular muscles and some longitudinal bands, spiraled around the pharynx and anterior portion of the intestine. Two pairs of segmentally-arranged dorsoventral muscles were also present. Lateral dorsoventral muscles extended from the base of the pharynx to the anterior part of the caudal furca. Medial dorsoventral muscles extended from the pharyngeal-intestinal junction into each ramus of the caudal furca. A hypothesis on the evolution of dorsoventral muscles in D. tessalata is proposed which includes a splitting of circular muscles into separate somatic and splanchnic components with a further displacement of both muscle sets into a dorsoventral orientation.

Paucitubulatina F-actin interstitial meiofauna 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rick Hochberg
    • 1
  • Marianne Klauser Litvaitis
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Zoology and Center for Marine BiologyUniversity of New HampshireDurhamU.S.A.
  2. 2.Department of Zoology and Center for Marine BiologyUniversity of New HampshireDurhamU.S.A.

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