Thorny-headed worms

The effect of host species on growth and variability of Echinorhynchus salmonis Müller, 1784 (Acanthocephala: Echinorhynchidae), with special reference to the status of the genus

Publication Type:Journal Article
Year of Publication:1980
Authors:O. M. Amin, Redlin M. J.
Journal:Systematic ParasitologySyst Parasitol
Pagination:9 - 20
Date Published:1980///
ISBN Number:01655752 (ISSN)

The sex and age (as measured by length) of Echinorhynchus salmonis Müller, 1784 and the host species of this acanthocephalan considerably affected worm body form and size, as well as size of proboscis, proboscis hooks, proboscis receptacle, lemnisci, testes and cement glands. Linear regression analysis indicated that curves describing the growth pattern of these characters by worm length were significantly different as a function of host species. The larger worms recovered from bloater (Coregonus hoyi: Salmonidae) almost invariably showed higher regression coefficient compared to those from smelt (Osmerus mordax: Osmeridae) in all characters. Taxonomic implications of these findings are discussed. Abnormalities in body wall, proboscis hook orientation, lemnisci and cement gland ducts as well as variations in proboscis hook and cement gland numbers are reported, some for the first time. Findings from studies of cement gland pattern invalidate Petrochenko's (1956) splitting up of the genus into three: Echinorhynchus, Metechinorhynchus and Pseudoechinorhynchus. It is proposed that the designation of the last two genera as junior synynoms of the first be accepted. ac]19791205 © 1980 Dr. W. Junk b.v. Publishers.

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