Phalloidin fluorescence technique, enzyme cytochemistry and immunocytochemistry, in conjunction with confocal scanning laser microscopy, were used to describe the neuromusculature of the monogenean skin parasite Macrogyrodactylus congolensis from the Nile catfish Clarias gariepinus. The body wall muscles are composed of an outer layer of compactly arranged circular fibres, an intermediate layer of paired longitudinal fibres and an inner layer of well-spaced bands of diagonal fibres arranged in two crossed directions. The central nervous system consists of paired cerebral ganglia from which three pairs of longitudinal ventral, lateral and dorsal nerve cords arise. The nerve cords are connected at intervals by many transverse connectives. Both central and peripheral nervous systems are bilaterally symmetrical and better developed ventrally than laterally and dorsally. Structural and functional correlates of the neuromusculature of the pharynx, haptor and reproductive tracts were examined. Results implicate acetylcholine, FMRFamide-related peptides and serotonin in sensory and motor function. The results were compared with those of Macrogyrodactylus clarii, a gill parasite of the same host fish C. gariepinus.
- Nervous System
- Species Specificity