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Corpus Systématique Animale

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Cuticle ultrastructure of Hesionid polychaetes (Annelida)

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  • Wilfried Westheide 1
  • Reinhard M. Rieger 2
  • 1) II. Zoologisches Institut und Museum der Universität, Berliner Str. 28, D-3400, Göttingen, Germany
  • 2) Department of Zoology, University of North Carolina, 27514, Chapel Hill, NC, USA

The structure of the cuticle in the four species of the family Hesionidae(Microphthalmus cf.listensis, M. cf.similis, Hesionides arenaria, juv.Podarke spec.) investigated basically corresponds to that found in all annelids. It consists of an outer, electron dense layer, epicuticle, basal cuticle with a fibrous layer, and numerous microvilli which penetrate the layers and are covered by a more or less dense glycocalyx. However, a rough collagen grid is not developed, the fibers are much thinner and are arranged in a more irregular manner. This corresponds to structures found in archiannelids and polychaete larvae. We consider them here to be reductions of the typical polychaete cuticle and postulate a correlation to the small body size of the species investigated. The quantitative differences in cuticle dimensions in the various body regions and structures can also be explained on a purely functional basis, especially apparent in the comparison of prostomium and body trunk. The pharynx cuticle shows significant structural differences due to the development of an additional peripherical lamellar layer-known to this extent only in gastrotrichs—as well as differently shaped and unusually long microvilli. This character is discussed as a possible synapomorphy for the family Hesionidae.

Catégories INIST
  • 1 - sciences appliquees, technologies et medecines
  • 2 - sciences biologiques et medicales
  • 3 - sciences biologiques fondamentales et appliquees. psychologie
  • 4 - invertebres
Catégories Scopus
  • 1 - Life Sciences ; 2 - Agricultural and Biological Sciences ; 3 - Animal Science and Zoology
  • 1 - Health Sciences ; 2 - Medicine ; 3 - Anatomy
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