oa African Zoology - Histomorphology of the digestive tract of Chonopeltis australis (Crustacea: Branchiura)

Volume 29, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1562-7020
  • E-ISSN: 2224-073X



The morphology and histology of the digestive tract of the branchiuran crustacean, Chonopeltis australis Boxshall, 1976 are descriptionbed from serial sections. The foregut is differentiated into a preoral cavity, containing the mandibles and tongue, an ascending oesophagus, with an H-shaped lumen invested with longitudinal, circular and dilator muscles, a horizontal oesophagus with a star-shaped lumen and lacking longitudinal and dilator muscles, and an oesophageal funnel consisting of inner and recurrent walls. The midgut is differentiated into anterior and posterior chambers, separated by an S-shaped muscular tube. The arborescent midgut glands open laterally into the anterior part of the anterior midgut. Columnar epithelial cells line the anterior midgut whereas tall, papilliform cells are present in the epithelium of the posterior midgut. The transition from posterior midgut to hindgut is marked by the presence of very tall epithelial cells. The terminology descriptionbing the various parts of the digestive tract of branchiurans is discussed.

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