Springer Nature is making SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19 research free. View research | View latest news | Sign up for updates

The epidermis and sensory organs of Dugesia tigrina (Turbellaria: Tricladida)

A scanning electron microscope study

  • 268 Accesses

  • 9 Citations


The epidermis of D. tigrina was examined using the scanning electron microscope. Both dorsal and ventral surfaces are extremely irregular in contour, as well as being permeated by large numbers of pores. Cilia are restricted to the ventral surface, the auricles and that part of the dorsum adjacent to the auricles. Club-shaped receptors, as well as cilia, were seen in the auricles. The epidermis anteriad to the eyespots is indistinguishable from that covering the remainder of the dorsal surface. Light rays could not enter the eyespot through this rough epidermal surface without becoming diffracted in an irregular fashion. It was therefore concluded that visual image perception is not a function of the planarian eyespot.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.


  1. Bedini, C., Papi, F.: Fine structure of the turbellarian epidermis. In: Biology of the turbellaria (N. Riser and M.P. Morse, eds.). New York: McGraw-Hill 1974

  2. Best, J.B., Morita, M., Noel, J.: Fine structure and function of planarian goblet cells. J. Ultrastruct. Res. 24, 385–397 (1968)

  3. Bowen, I.D., Ryder, T.A.: The fine structure of the planarian Polycelis tenuis (Iijima). III. The epidermis and external features. Protoplasma (Wien) 80, 381–392 (1974)

  4. Carpenter, I.S., Morita, M., Best, J.B.: Ultrastructure of the photoreceptor of the planarian Dugesia dotorocephala. 1. Normal eye. Cell Tiss. Res. 148, 143–158 (1974)

  5. Hyman, L.H.: The invertebrates. Vol. I. Protozoa through ctenophora. New York: McGraw-Hill 1951a

  6. Hyman, L.H.: The invertebrates, Vol. II. Platyhelminths and rhyncocoela. New York: McGraw-Hill 1951b

  7. Kessel, R.G., Shih, C.Y.: Scanning electron microscopy in biology: a student's atlas on biological organization. New York: Springer 1974

  8. Kishida, Y.: Electron microscope studies on the planarian eye. 1. Fine structure of the normal eye. Sci. Rep. Kanazawa Univ. 12, 75–110 (1967)

  9. MacRae, E. K.: Observations on the fine structure of photoreceptor cells in the planarian Dugesia tigrina. J. Ultrastruct. Res. 10, 334–349 (1964)

  10. MacRae, E.K.: The fine structure of sensory receptor processes in the auricular epithelium of the planarian Dugesia tigrina. Z. Zellforsch. 82, 479–494 (1967)

  11. Skaer, R.J.: Some aspects of the cytology of Polycelis nigra. Quart. J. micr. Sci. 102, 295–317 (1961)

  12. Skaer, R.J.: The origin and continuous replacement of epidermal cells in the planarian Polycelis tenuis (Iijima). J. Embryol. exp. Morph. 13, 129–139 (1965)

Download references

Author information

Correspondence to Dr. Harvey D. Blankespoor.

Additional information

Supported by Rockefeller Grant GA-HS-7424

The authors wish to thank Mr. J. Ford for his assistance with the photography, Dr. D. Wittrock for reading the manuscript

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Smales, L.R., Blankespoor, H.D. The epidermis and sensory organs of Dugesia tigrina (Turbellaria: Tricladida). Cell Tissue Res. 193, 35–40 (1978). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00221599

Download citation

Key words

  • Planarian
  • Scanning electron microscopy
  • Epidermis
  • Sense organs
  • Ultrastructure