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Volume 6 | Number 1 | May 2014 v6i1.127 taprobanica 6 1 cover


Volume 6 | Number 1 | May 2014
Short Note
ISSN: 1800-427X (print)
eISSN: 1800-427X (online)

Submitted date: 31 January 2013
Accepted date: 23 April 2014
Published date: 29 June 2014
Pp. 47–48.

A pentastome (Armillifer moniliformis) parasitizing a common rat-snake

T.S.P. Fernando* & V.A.K. Fernando
*Corresponding author. E-mail: saminda@ou.ac.lk

Pentastomes are a group of relatively poorly known parasites that are neglected both in veterinary parasitology text books and curriculum. The pentastomes are currently classified in a separate phylum, Pentastomida, because they exhibit characteristics of both the phylum Arthropoda and Annelid. This group comprises of approximately 100 species of vermiform arthropods that are all obligate parasites of the lower and less often upper respiratory tract of vertebrates. Adult pentastomes are segmented and worm like, measuring 0.5 to 20 cm in length. However they are easily distinguished from any other parasite because they bear 2 pairs of retractile hooks on either side of the mouth. They also have a distinct tongue shaped appearance; hence they are called linguatulids or tongue worms.

Section Editor: Colin Chapman
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