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External morphology of the cycliophoran dwarf male: a comparative study of Symbion pandora and S. americanus

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  • Ricardo C. Neves, Portugal
  • Marina R. Cunha, Portugal
  • Peter Funch
  • Andreas Wilhelm Georg Wanninger, Denmark
  • Reinhardt Møbjerg Kristensen, Denmark
  • Department of Biological Sciences, Genetics and Ecology
Cycliophora is a recently described phylum to which only two species have been assigned so far, Symbion
and S. americanus. The cycliophoran life cycle is complex and alternates between asexual and sexual stages.
Although not recognized as an entirely independent freeswimming stage when the phylum was first described, the
dwarf male has a remarkably complex bodyplan albeit its very small size (approx. 30–40 lm in length). Aiming to
increase the knowledge on the gross morphology of the cycliophoran dwarf male, specimens from S. pandora and
S. americanus were analyzed by scanning electron microscopy. In both species, anterior and ventral ciliated
fields, as well as paired lateral sensorial organs, were identified, thus confirming previous observations. However,
new details are described herein such as the penial pouch that encloses the penis. We compare our findings on
both Symbion species with the data currently available on other metazoan dwarf males.
Original languageEnglish
JournalHelgoland Marine Research
Pages (from-to)257-262
Publication statusPublished - 2010

    Research areas

  • Sexual reproduction, Life cycle, Scanning electron microscopy, Spiralia, Lophotrochozoa, Cycliophora

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