Thorny-headed worms

Description and host relationships of Polymorphus spindlatus n. sp. (Acanthocephala: Polymorphidae) from the heron Nycticorax nycticorax in Peru.

Publication Type:Journal Article
Year of Publication:1991
Authors:O. M. Amin, Heckmann R. A.
Journal:J Parasitol
Date Published:1991 Apr
Keywords:Acanthocephala, Animals, Bird Diseases, Birds, Female, Helminthiasis, Helminthiasis, Animal, Host-Parasite Interactions, Intestinal Diseases, Parasitic, Intestines, Male

Polymorphus spindlatus n. sp. is described from the black-crowned night heron, Nycticorax nycticorax, in Lake Titicaca, Peru. It is distinguished from all 27 known species of the subgenus Polymorphus by its spindle-shaped proboscis and its trunk shape, the anterior 2/3 of which is ovoid, tapering into a tubular posterior end. It resembles Polymorphus brevis (=Arhythmorhynchus brevis), which is, however, longer and considerably more slender, and has smaller and more numerous proboscis hooks per row and smaller eggs. It is separated also from Polymorphus swartzi, Polymorphus striatus, Polymorphus contortus, and Polymorphus cincli by its proboscis armature (usually 18 longitudinal rows of 11-13 hooks each), among other characters. Histopathological sections of host tissue show well defined localized damage including hemorrhaging with subsequent phagocyte cell migration (granular tissue). The lumen of the host intestine is obstructed and villi show compression. The proboscis of P. spindlatus extends through the intestinal mucosa and submucosa, displacing the smooth muscle layers of the muscularis externa. Fibrosis also was observed.

Alternate Journal:J. Parasitol.
Scratchpads developed and conceived by (alphabetical): Ed Baker, Katherine Bouton Alice Heaton Dimitris Koureas, Laurence Livermore, Dave Roberts, Simon Rycroft, Ben Scott, Vince Smith