Structure of the Cuticle of Ceramonema carinatum (Chromadorida: Ceramonenatidae)


  • Aimorn C. Stewart
  • Warwick L. Nicholas


The cuticle of Ceramonema carinatum (Chromadorida: Ceramonematidae) is described and illustrated from scanning and transmission electron microscopy. Each of ca. 200 annules is composed of a single ring with eight external flat faces (plates), which are divided by longitudinal ridges formed by pairs of parallel upstanding vanes. Vanes and plates overlap those of the adjacent annules. Longitudinal ridges extend from the cephalic capsule to the tail spike. On the cephalic capsule a simple ridge extends each of the eight ridges to a position just anterior to the amphid. Cuticular plates are formed from the electron-dense cortical layer and contain lacunae filled with fine fibrils. The vanes are denser, with laminations on a central core. In the annular grooves between the plates there is an electron-lucent layer, which it is suggested, by comparison with other nematodes, is the basal layer. An epicuticle overlies the cortical plates, the vanes, and the interannular lucent layer. Cuficular structure is compared with that of other Ceramonematidae and related nematodes. Key words: annulation, Ceramonema carinatum, cuticle, marine nematode, nematode, scanning electron microscopy, transmission electron microscopy, ultrastructure.