Aquatic Parasite Observatory

Opalina spp. (Purkinye & Valentin, 1835)

    • Species Name: Opalina spp. (Purkinye & Valentin, 1835)
    • Synonyms: None
    • Taxonomy: (Purkinye & Valentin, 1835) Protista, Sarcomastigophora, Opalinea, Opalinida, Opalinidae, Opalina spp.
    • Life Cycle: "The lifecycle of the Opalina is coordinated with the breeding cycle of the host. During the non-breeding season, only the adult trophozoites exist, occasionally dividing by binary fission. As breeding season approaches, fission rate increases and small precystic forms appear (called tomonts). The tomonts encyst to form multinucleated cysts. The cysts are passed into the water and upon ingestion by a tadpole, they reinfect the next host" (Smith and Wakelin, 1994).
    • Description:
      1. Numerous oblique rows of flagella occur over entire body surface of opalinids, giving them a strong resemblance of ciliates. At the anterior end is a sickle-shaped field of kinetosomes, called falx; dorsal, ventral, and lateral parts of body are defined with respect to the falx. At the posterior end, the flagellar rows simply converge, although, in Opalina species, the convergence is in the form of a seamlike suture… All opalinid genrera exhibit cortical folds, corticular ribbons of microtubules, mitochondria with long tubular cristae, and pinocytotic vesicles budding from the bases of the cortical folds.
    • Sources:Roberts, L.S. and Janovy Jr., J. 2009. Gerald D Schmict and Larry S. Roberts’ Foundations of Parasitology. Eighth Edition, p. 103.
      Smyth, J.D. and Wakelin, D. 1994. Introduction to Animal Parasitology. Third edition, p. 146. Cambridge University Press; Cambridge, New York & Melbourne.
    • APO Parasite Records: (by Life Cycle)

Parasite Images: