Urceolaria mitra (von Seib) Epizoic on Polycelis tenuis (IJIMA) an SEM Study.


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Dense populations of Urceolaria mitra (Cilophora, Peritrichid) were observed on the surface of the planarian Polycelis tenuis (Platyhelminthes Turbellaria). Although the epizoite was primarily confined to the anterior dorsal surface of the planarian, heavily infested individuals had peritrichs attached to the posterior, lateral and ciliated ventral surfaces. Unique profiles of the skeletal ring (aboral disc) in relation to the host surface showed that some local erosion of planarian epithelium occurs. Outer and inner rows of cilia extended anti-clockwise around the peristomal disc. The cilia ran for one and one-eighth turns around the disc and overlapped in the form of a spiral when the protist was extended and feeding. The cilia appeared to beat in metachronal rhythm and exhibited a wavelength and amplitude of approximately 10μm. Regular striations having a periodicity of 1μm were observed in the periostimal membrane. A posterior or basal circlet of locomotor cilia was also observed and freeze fracture revealed an internal arrangement of microvilli, cilia and reticular membranes.