Octomitus is a diplomonad with a broadly pyriform cell body tapered posteriorly, (10-15 µm), bearing six anterior flagella deflected backwards and two posterior trailing flagella. The two anterior nuclei are bean-shaped, they face up and adjoin each other in their anterior part. A large endosome is present in the anterior lobe of the nuclei. The two sets of flagella emerge on each side of the anterior part of the body. The two recurrent flagella, accompanied by a sheath of reticulum, traverse the cell, forming a central axis before emerging as trailing flagella. Two spikes are located at the posterior between the two trailing flagella. There is no cytostomal opening at the emergence of the trailing flagella in contrast to Spironucleus. Anaerobic, parasitic or endocommensal in the intestine of vertebrates such as amphibians, caecum of rodents, rumen. Octomitus intestinalis from mice with two anterior nuclei, six antero-lateral flagella and two posterior flagella which traverse the cell axially (Giemsa staining)
This image was taken by Guy Brugerolle. Image copyright: Guy Brugerolle, used under license.
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