Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom

Research Article

Breathing Movements in Entobdella Soleae (Trematoda, Monogenea) from the Skin of the Common Sole

G. C. Kearna1

a1 Department of Zoology and Comparative Physiology, the University of Birmingham


An undulating movement of the body was observed in Entobdella soleae, a monogenean found on the blind surface of a mud-dwelling flat-fish, Solea solea, at Plymouth. The movement is described and shown to have a breathing function, the rate of undulation increasing with decreasing oxygen content of the ambient sea water and vice versa.

The relationship between the movement and micro-habitat is discussed and the phenomenon is compared with breathing movements in other muddwelling animals.

A similar movement was noted in three other skin-parasitic monogeneans: Acanthocotyle sp. from Raia clavata, Pseudocotyle squatinae from Squatina squatina and Leptocotyle minor from Scyliorhinus canicula.