Encyclopedia of Parasitology

Living Edition
| Editors: Heinz Mehlhorn


  • Heinz Mehlhorn
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-27769-6_1541-2


Order of Mastigophora.

General Information

Members of the Hypermastigida (Fig. 1), like the Oxymonadida, inhabit the intestine of wood-feeding insects and are involved in the digestion of cellulose; however, the question of whether they produce the necessary enzymes themselves or whether they are obtained from endosymbiotic bacteria has not yet been answered. Others are found in the intestine of cockroaches (e.g., Barbulanympha; see Gametes). This group is characterized by the occurrence of many repeated sets of four-apical flagella, which are arranged in a trichomonadid-like basal pattern, thus giving them the appearance of a wild tuft. Reproduction occurs by longitudinal division, while sexual processes are unknown. During this process, the flagella become resorbed except for a set of four; their duplication initiates the cell division and the final formation of other flagella sets. In some species, transmission occurs by oral uptake of fecally passed cysts.


Cell Division Oral Uptake General Information Basal Pattern Endosymbiotic Bacterium 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institut für Zoomorphologie, Zellbiologie und ParasitologieHeinrich-Heine-UniversitätDüsseldorfGermany