The ultrastructure of the epidermis of free-swimming larvae of the nemertean Quasitetrastemma stimpsoni was examined. At about 24 hours after hatching, the provisional epithelium of larva is 28–35 μm thick and consists of two layers of cells—peripheral and basal. The peripheral layer consists of multiciliated cells and two kinds of gland cells. The “basal cup” zone is formed from the vacuoles of basal cells. At about 50 hours after hatching, the definitive epithelium is 14–17 μm thick and exhibits a typical hoplonemertean structure. However, it has numerous yolk vesicles, few processes of granular basal cells, and a weakly developed dermis. Thus, the replacement of the provisional epithelium by the definitive one occurs in Q. stimpsoni at an earlier stage, compared to the hidden larva of Tetrastemma candidum.
Russian Journal of Marine Biology – Springer Journals
Published: Mar 19, 2009
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