Physical Characteristics

Body length 0.27-0.49 in (7-12.5 mm) in female, 0.17-0.26 in (4.5-6.7 mm) in male. Body dorsoventrally flattened, giving low profile when attached to its host; comprising cephalothorax, incorporating first to third leg-bearing segments, free segment bearing leg four, genital complex consisting of fused fifth leg-bearing and genital somites, and a long, free abdomen. Frontal plates lacking lunules. Antennules two-segmented in both sexes; antennae and maxillipeds with strong apical claws used for attachment to surface of host. Oral cone consisting of upper lip (labrum) and lower lip (labium); mandibles stylet-like, passing into oral cone at base, via lateral slits. Third legs forming apron-like structure and completing posterior margin of cephalothoracic sucker. Fourth leg uniramous. Genital complex of female with paired genital openings from which long egg strings are extruded, plus paired copulatory pores into which spermatophores discharge their sperm.

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