Hello, Bio 555 classmates. It is Tony here.
Had some hard time transferring images to computer but made it finally. Here are two pictures of the parasites I found from the Emerita analoga. One thing to apologize ahead, I forgot to mark down the magnification when I took these pictures under the dissection scope.
The ellipsoid part of the parasite is the main worm body part of this stage of the parasite. The transparent hollow part, aka proboscis, is the tubular mouth part of the parasite. According to the The LiMPETS website, Acanthocephelan parasites lacks of mouth and anus, as well as digestive tracks; therefore, this “mouth part” does not serve any feeding function. The way the parasite uses this mouth part is to anchor itself to the host’s gut and absorb nutrient through the worm body. According to Sarah, the parasite has hook like structures on the mouth part to accomplish the anchoring move.
*Picture one is the stage when the parasite has not yet shoot off its proboscis.
*Picture two is the stage when its proboscis has shot off.
*These parasites are from mole crab #626. Female. Carapace length: 33mm.