On the morphology of Acanthostomum spiniceps (Looss, 1896) and A. absconditum (Looss, 1901) (Digenea: Cryptogonimidae: Acanthostominae) with particular reference to the juvenile stage
Mohammed, H.I. 2006. On the morphology of Acanthostomum spiniceps (Looss, 1896) and A. absconditum (Looss, 1901) (Digenea: Cryptogonimidae: Acanthostominae) with particular reference to the juvenile stage. —Acta Zoologica (Stockholm) 87: 159–169
The morphology of juvenile and adult stages of Acanthostomum spiniceps and A. absconditum, from bagrid fish of the river Nile in Egypt, was studied with both light and scanning electron microscopy. In early juveniles, circumoral spines are absent and the entire body surface is covered with tegumental spines. Late juveniles show gradual differentiation of the circumoral tegument into a collar of spines associated with a reduction in density of tegumental spines at the posterior extremity of the body. Genital primordia appear when juveniles are about 1.75 mm long. The distributions of tegumental spines on adult A. spiniceps and A. absconditum are similar. Spines are denser on the dorsal and ventral surfaces of the anterior and middle parts of the body and less dense towards the posterior end. The tegumental fold surrounding the ventral sucker of A. absconditum has spines while the fold of A. spiniceps lacks them. The most important morphological features differentiating both species are the number of circumoral spines, body shape, ratio of body length to width, sucker sizes, and the presence or absence of spines on the ventral sucker.