Herpetomonads refer to the members of the genus Herpetomonas. The genus Herpetomonas belongs to the family Trypanosomatidae. This family is known for possessing a single flagellum arising from a kinetosome near which is located a kinetoplast.1 All known species are parasitic. They have different morphological forms or developmental stages in their lifecycle. These are the amastigote, promastigote, epimastigote, trypanomastigote, opisthomastigote, and choanomastigote. These forms are characterized based on the location, length, and cell body attachment of the flagellum. At least two forms are found in the lifecycle of this family. Herpetomonads have amastigote, promastigote and opisthomastigote forms. The amastigote stage shows the herpetomonad cell lacking a flagellum. In the promastigote stage, their flagellum is located anterior of the nucleus. During the opisthomastigote stage, the flagellum is located posterior of the nucleus. The opishtomastigote form is the definitive stage of members of Herpetomonas. The flagellum passes through a groove in the cell body of the species. They are commonly found in the intestine of houseflies and blowflies. An example of a herpetomonad is the Herpetomonas muscarum, which parasitizes houseflies. 2
1 Cheng, T. (1986). General Parasitology. Burlington: Elsevier Science.
2 Olsen, O. (1986). Animal parasites : their life cycles and ecology. New York: Dover.