Mouthpart Morphology and Feeding Strategies of the Commensal Amphipod, Anamixis Hanseni Stebbing
Abstract:The lack of the information on the biology of the commensal amphipod family Anamixidae prompted investigations into mouthpart ultrastructure, feeding biology, and host specificity of Anamixis hanseni Stebbing, 1897. Earlier investigators presented conflicting reports on the structural composition of the buccal region and feeding modes in anamixids. Scanning electron microscope analysis of A. hanseni showed a complete set of mouthparts to be present, although much modified and reduced, except for the well-developed maxilliped palps. Feeding is not parasitic (piercing and sucking host tissue) as previously believed but is accomplished while A. hanseni rests inside its host. Minute food particles are trapped on a filter net of setal tufts located on the medial carpal lobes of the enlarged second gnathopods. Both pairs of antennae and maxilliped palps are employed in maneuvering the food mass to the mouth. Mucus secretions by the host may aid in agglutination of food particles and could itself be a food source.
Findings show that A. hanseni is a highly specialized commensal with closest affinities to the genus Leucothoides of the Leucothoidae. A. hanseni inhabits compound tunicates and small solitary calcareous sponges.
Document Type: Short Communication
Publication date: 1981-04-01
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