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Wouter Fannes, Maarten P. Vanhove, Tine Huyse and Giuseppe Paladini (2015)

A scanning electron microscope technique for studying the sclerites of Cichlidogyrus

Parasitology Research, 114(5):2031-2034.

The genus Cichlidogyrus (Monogenea: Ancyrocephalidae) includes more than 90 species, most of which are gill parasites of African cichlid fishes. Cichlidogyrus has been studied extensively in recent years, but scanning electron microscope (SEM) investigations of the isolated hard parts have not yet been undertaken. In this paper, we describe a method for isolating and scanning the sclerites of individual Cichlidogyrus worms. Twenty-year old, formol-fixed specimens of Cichlidogyrus casuarinus were subjected to proteinase K digestion in order to release the sclerites from the surrounding soft tissues. SEM micrographs of the haptoral sclerites and the male copulatory organ are presented. The ability to digest formol-fixed specimens makes this method a useful tool for the study of historical museum collections.
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