The surface topography of Callorhynchocotyle callorhynchi (Manter, 1955) (Monogenea: Hexabothriidae), a parasite of the holocephalan fish Callorhinchus capensis.Parasitol Res 2015; 114(9):3393-9PR
A scanning electron microscopical study, incorporating some transmission electron microscopical observations, was undertaken on the surface topography of the gill parasite Callorhynchocotyle callorhynchi (Manter, 1955) (Monogenea: Hexabothriidae) from the Cape elephant fish Callorhinchus capensis (Holocephali) off the western coast of South Africa. The study revealed the presence of several new characteristics for this species. These include the presence of regularly distributed, knob-shaped projections on the surface of the haptor, haptoral appendix and sucker peduncles measuring 0.2 μm and in concentrations of approximately 100 per 10 μm(2) and the existence of a ridge which bisects each sucker lumen, forming two different loculi. We also report, for the first time for any monogenean, the presence of 'true spines'; these occur on the luminal surface of the haptoral suckers and have all of the characteristics of the tegumental spines of digeneans, i.e. they are situated within the distal syncytial tegumental cytoplasm, rest on the basal plasma membrane, have a uniform structure and are covered apically by the tegumental surface plasma membrane. These spines are simple, straight and single-pointed. Under the scanning electron microscopy (SEM), within an area of 20 μm in diameter, 23 such spines were counted, but their concentration and arrangement varies in different regions of the sucker. At their base, they measure about 1.5 μm in width and reach approximately 2 μm in height above the general level of the tegument, but transmission electron microscopy (TEM) measurements of an entire spine indicate that they may reach 3 μm in total length. The presence of spines, possessing similar morphological characteristics in both basal polyopisthocotylean monogeneans and digeneans, represents another characteristic which may prove useful in understanding the evolutionary relationships within the Neodermata.