Schistosoma mansoni Tegumental Appendages: Scanning Microscopy Following Thiocarbohydrazide-Osmium Preparation

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  • Division of Biology and Medicine, Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island 02912

Scanning photographs of the surface of normal adult male and female Schistosoma mansoni are given. The specimens were prepared using a thiocarbohydrazide technique which facilitates the binding of osmium. The resultant deep penetration of osmium preserves surface detail for electron reflection. The schistosomal tegument is characterized by a variety of surface bosses and spines. The function of certain of these is thought to be tactile or as chemoreceptors. Numerous tegumental pores surrounding setae in surface tubercles are shown. Clefts in the inner aspect of the gynecophoral canal are also seen. The excretory pore in both male and female is shown, along with a cluster of receptors at the terminus of the gynecophoral groove. Such grouped receptors may function to indicate position of the worm in copula.