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Rhaptothyreus typicus Hope & Murphy, 1969 (Nematoda: Rhaptothyreidae): an anatomical study of an unusual deep-sea nematode

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For more content, see Nematologica.

Descriptions are given for the males of Rhaptothyreus typicus, a morphologically unique and incompletely investigated deep-sea nematode, using light microscopy, TEM, and SEM. The cephalic sensilla are arranged in two circles: an anterior circle consisting of six pairs of papilliform sensilla and a posterior circle consisting of four papilliform sensilla. The fovea of the giant, oblong, amphid is covered with cuticle bearing minute perforations. The actual amphidial aperture, revealed only by TEM, is minute and slitlike. The apical oral aperture is reduced to a simple pore and the vestigial pharynx is devoid of an internal lumen and musculature. The mid-gut is a trophosome consisting of a solid mass of irregularly-shaped cells filled with rod-shaped structures that are assumed to be intracellular symbiotic bacteria. There is no evidence of even a vestige of a reproductive system except for the presence of the single spiculum. The phylogenetic relationships of Rhaptothyreus remain unknown.


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