Característiques ultrastructurals del tegument de "Lernanthropus kroyeri" Van Beneden "(Crustacea: Copepoda)"


  • Montserrat Poquet i Miquel


Lernanthropus kroyeri Van Beneden is an ectoparasite of Dicentrarchus labrax which is found attached to the gill filaments. Due to this fact, it shows morphological modifications at different levels, which are studied through Electronic Transmission and Scanning Microscopy.
On the dorsal surface, the body shows two types of epicuticular formations: very abundant ones with a tubular or filamentous aspect, which provides the copepod with a considerable increase of cuticular surface in order to a better oxygen utilization, and so improving respiratory processes through the integument; the other type of cuticular formation consists of longer and more ramified expansions less abundant than the other ones , and they have mainly a sensory function.
The cuticle, 13 µm thick, shows three markedly different zones : epicuticle, exocuticle, and endocuticle. It is crossed by a great number of canalicles, wich allow the passage of substances from the underlying epithelium.
Epithelial cells have the typical morphology of this integumentary tissue, and the two main features are: a great number of septate junctions and mitochondria with very developped and abundant cristae, which means an intense respiratory and metabolic activity, due to their oxygen-poor habitat as well as to the immobility showed by L. Kroyeri.


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