The surface ultrastructure of advanced third-stage larvae (AL3) of Gnathostoma nipponicum was studied using scanning electron microscopy. The larvae were recovered from the grass snake Rhabdophis tigrina in the Republic of Korea. Parasites had a globular head bulb with a pair of lips at the anterior end and 2 labial papillae and an amphid on each lip. The head bulb was characteristically armed with 3 transverse rows of hooklets, averaging 36, 38, and 43 in number, increasing posteriorly. A total of 213–232 minute unidentate cuticular spines were present along the entire length of the larvae, forming the transverse striations. Two pairs of cervical papillae were located between the 8th and 12th transverse striations, and a pair of body papillae was seen laterally on the posterior third of the body. A pair of caudal phasmids was recognized near the posterior extremity. The surface ultrastructure of AL3 of G. nipponicum is unique compared with that of other species.

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