Ultrastructure of the statocysts in the apodous sea cucumber Leptosynapta inhaerens (Holothuroidea, Echinodermata)

  • Ehlers U
  • 13


    Mendeley users who have this article in their library.
  • 7


    Citations of this article.


The burrowing sea cucumber Leptosynapta inhaerens possesses five pairs of statocysts, one pair on either side of each radial nerve cord where it arises from the circumoral nerve ring. The nerve cords exhibit only ectoneural components at the level of the statocysts. A sinus-like epineural canal lies superjacent to each cord. This canal is lined by a robust monociliated neuroepithelium which lacks any special support cells. Beneath the neuroepithelium, the somata of the ectoneural neurons form a perikaryal layer whereas the axons are located within the proximal parts of the cords. Glial cells have not been found. Each statocyst is a hollow sense organ. Its central cavity is lined by a monolayer of monociliated parietal cells. Axons of these parietal cells extend towards the statocyst nerve which connects each statocyst with the ectoneural pathways of the cord. A single lithocyte floats within each central statocyst cavity. This unciliated cell contains a voluminous vacuole with the statolith and several smaller vacuoles. It is concluded that statocysts do not belong to the basic organization of the Holothuroidea but have been evolved within this group. The statement, that the statocysts of apodous sea cucumbers and that of the enigmatic Xenoturbella bocki are homologous organs, is rejected.

Get free article suggestions today

Mendeley saves you time finding and organizing research

Sign up here
Already have an account ?Sign in

Find this document


  • Ulrich Ehlers

Cite this document

Choose a citation style from the tabs below

Save time finding and organizing research with Mendeley

Sign up for free