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How to use MonoDb

MonoDb has been designed so that anyone with an interest in Monogenea can explore the site and perhaps obtain a little more information about a particular species, genus or family.

MonoDb.org is a new site and we are keen that it becomes a useful information resource and research tool for people of all ages and of experience with Monogenea.

If this is one of your first visits to the site, then the "Home" page provides a quick introduction to the Class Monogenea. If you are looking for a little more detailed information, then the "Biology" page begins to delve a little deeper whilst specific information about particular families, genera and species can be found under dedicated pages to each by navigating your way through the site by using the "Search Tools" listed down the left hand bar.

For those of you that have found an interesting worm and are keen to try your hand at identifying it, then "What's My Worm" is a good place to start which provides a quick description of the two main types of Monogenea i.e. if your worm is a "hooker" (i.e. a principally hook bearing worm) or a "clamper" (i.e. a worm that possesses large clamps for attaching to its host). To identify your worm, however, you need to study some of their body features and to do this, you need to make a flat microscope preparation and then examine these at x20 to x100 on a good microscope. Having decided on which type of monogenean you have, clicking on either the "Hookers" or "Clampers" hyperlink takes you to a key of the main families under each. Clicking on a particular family (e.g. Polystomatidae under the "Clampers") then provides a key of the main genera under that family and then particular species can be investigated by clicking on a particular genus (e.g. Euploystoma).

For the more experienced monogenean researcher, the "Search Tools" listed down the left hand bar allow you to quickly navigate through the families, genera and species with overviews being provided at each level. Once at the species level, then detailed descriptions, measurements of key structures, drawings, photographs, molecular sequence data and the whereabouts of museum specimens are provided.


The "Resource" section listed down the left hand side of the web page provides a library of scanning electron microscope (SEM) and confocal laser-scanning microscope (CLSM) images alongside a range of video formats which includes image stacks, video clips and designated "e-types" or electronic types. Files generated from image stacks by the CLSM, for example, permit internal structures in uncompressed specimens to be stained with an appropriate fluorescent dye and then to be rotated and viewed from all angles. The submission of photographs and designated e-types into the image library will assist monogenean taxonomy in a number of significant ways:

1) valuable monogenean type material will no longer have to leave museum parasite collections;

2) multiple users can immediately and simultaneously access the same material;

3) an online image database will accelerate the diagnostic, identification and description components of monogenean research permitting an increasing level of detail to be included in ultrastructure- and new species-based studies.

What if I find a worm with no hooks?

Some monogeneans do not possess either clamps or hooks but instead use suction or secreted glues to anchor themselves to their hosts. A good example of this is Udonella (Udonellidae: Monopisthocotylea) which is a hyperparasite of caligid crustacean copepods e.g. Udonella caligorum which is a common found attached to the carapace of Lepeophtheirus salmonis, the salmon louse.

Monogenean Pictures