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La Morphologie Des Pièces Buccales Chez Les Splanchnotrophidae (Copépodes Parasites De Mollusques) 1)

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Hancock & Norman (1863) introduced the genus Splanchnotrophus for two new species of copepods that parasitise opisthobranch Mollusca, namely: S. gracilis and S. brevipes. The authors noted the relationship between Splanchnotrophus and the Chondracanthidae, the similar mouthparts and the occurrence of dwarf males in both. Since 1863, various new species have been added to the genus Splanchnotrophus, but no one has studied the morphology of the appendages in detail. Monod (1928) thought that the maxillule described by Hancock & Norman might be a mandibular process such as occurs in all other Chondracanthidae. Later workers adopted this view, that the mouthparts of the Splanchnotrophidae comprise mandible with mandibular process, maxilla and maxilliped. The author has made a careful morphological study of the mouthparts in Splanchnotrophus dellachiajei from the Mediterranean and S. gracilis from Plymouth. In reality they comprise a mandible of a peculiar form, without mandibular process, an inwardly directed maxilla with a secondary spine, but no maxilliped. The labrum is large and well developed and the characteristic labium has two lateral lobes extending between the maxillae and the mandibles. These mouthparts thus differ markedly from those of the Chondrocanthidae and the monotypic family Splanchnotrophidae may be defined by the special mouthparts peculiar to the genus Splanchnotrophus.

Affiliations: 1: Laboratoire Arago, Banyuls-sur-Mer, France

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