Tiny parasite on gills of crayfish

James Mahaffy Mahaffy at dordt.edu
Thu Feb 28 10:37:36 EST 2002


Folks,

In Zoology lab this afternoon I ran into some (20-30) tiny white
parasites (5 mm) that appeared to have come off the gills of a crayfish
that we were anaesthetizing with 20% ethanol to show the heart beat.  I
and two students (BJ and Sneider) looked at one under the microscope and
we found it a little hard to place.  They obviously were not nematodes
or cestodes.  There was definitely a head end with some powerful muscles
(looks like a pharynx).  It was not obvious if there was a coelom but it
did look like there was a digestive system that expanded and contracted
over the length of the worm.  The one we looked like it had 4 segments
behind the cephalic one.   

The nearest I could come up with was some sort of leech but there were
no obvious oral and posterior suckers.  If anyone knows what these were
I and my class would appreciate the feedback. 

bc to my Zoology class. 

James Mahaffy (mahaffy at dordt.edu)        Phone: 712 722-6279
Biology Department                                     FAX :  712
722-1198
Dordt College, Sioux Center IA 51250

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