Comprehensive Description

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General Description

The body of the female emerges from the whale bone in a gelatinuous hemispherical tube that is 7 mm in diameter. The crown is composed of four palps and a cylindrical oviduct. The contracted crown plumes measure 0.95 cm in length. The oviduct is filled with ellipsoid eggs with a mean diameter of 146 by 117 um. The oviduct is convoluted upon contraction, and extends between the palps, 3 mm from the trunk. The palps are red with two longitudinal white stripes in living specimens. Pinnules are present on the inner margins of the palps. The trunk is 4.5 mm long and 0.9 mm wide, and is marked by a white coloured thickened tissue at the anterior. A green, bacterio-cyte filled sheath forms at the junction of the trunk and oviduct, measuring 1.2 mm long by 1mm wide. The ovisac is lobulate, with dimensions of 6.5 mm by 5 mm by 3 mm. The ovisac and roots are inflated with clear fluid in situ in the bone, which is lost on extraction.

Paedomorphic males are found clustered around the oviduct in the female tubes, and measure 0.15 - 0.25 mm long. The males have an anterior prototroch and posterior hooked chaete. The chaete have hooks and handles 15 - 21 um. The hooks lack a rostrum and are comprised of capitium with curved teeth over a subrostral process. The capitium have five teeth, but lack subrostral teeth.

(Rouse et al., 2004)


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