Cuticle Formation in Hemicycliophora arenaria, Aphelenchus avenae and HirschmannIella gracilis


  • P. W. Johnson
  • S. D. Van Gundy
  • W. W. Thomson


The onset of molting in all stages of Hemicycliophora arenaria was preceded by the appearance of numerous, discrete globular structures which were termed "molting bodies" because they were present in the hypodermis only during the production of the new cuticle. In all parasitic stages the molt commenced with the separation of the cuticle from the hypodermis from which the new sheath and cuticle were differentiated. Following completion of the new sheath and cuticle most of the old outer covering was apparently absorbed before ecdysis. Electronmicrographs of body wall cross sections in molting 1,4 male specimens revealed the final molt to be a double molt in which an additional sixth cuticle was produced. Since both a new sheath and cuticle were produced during the molt of each stage, the sheath must be considered as an integral part of the cuticle and not as a residual cuticle or the result of an incomplete additional molt. Molting in Aphelenchus avenae and Hirschmanniella gracilis was less complex and "molting bodies" were not observed. After cuticle separation the hypodermis gave rise to a new trilaminate zone, the future cortex, and (later) the matrix and striated basal layers. Key Words: Cuticle, Molting, Ultrastructure, Hemicycliophora arenaria, Aphelenchus avenae, Hirschmanniella gracilis.