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Confocal image of an adult male Schistosoma mansoni blood fluke in cross section.

Nuclei are blue (using DAPI) and actin yellow (using phalloidin). The parasite's syncytial body surface (tegument) and gut lining epithelium are green. Nutrients are acquired across both surfaces, ingested host blood being broken down in the gut and nutrients absorbed from the lumen. The flattened body shape and the distance of many tissues from the gut emphasize the importance of the male tegument in nutrient uptake whereas the cylindrical female has a greater reliance on the gut for nutrition. See Skelly et al.

Image Credit: R. Alan Wilson