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An unusual large ciliate

A large, slender ciliate 500μin length is swimming quickly, twisting its flexible body like a ribbon. The front and rear ends are narrower than the main part of the body. The head appears black from the fine particles inside. The mouth of the organism looks oblique - slightly angled- to one side of the tip.


Commentary by Prof. Yuji Tsukii, Hosei University
This organism is in the genus Spathidium.

http://protist.i.hosei.ac.jp/PDB/Im.....

It is characterized by a slightly oblique (diagonal) mouth at the front end.

If the mouth extends to the side of cell, it may belong to a group other than Spathidium.

According to the sketches in Wimertiere oder Ciliata (1931, Kahl), the organism is most likely to Spathidium vermiforme (Penard) (p.160 - P.162) with a typical cell length of 200 - 400μm.

Sampling Date : 18 October 2009

Sampling Site : Hirose River A  Google Map

Giant ciliate expands and contracts

The movement of this large dark-brown ciliate is strange. Standing near a particle, it alternately extends and contracts its body, reaching a length of 300 microns when fully extended, and shrinking to a round body of 200 microns in diameter. Its mouth is sometimes flat, and sometimes looks like a bottle neck.


Commentary by Prof. Yuji Tsukii, Hosei University
This Spathidium syrtis appears quite full after eating a large meal. A feature of this group is its partially flat top. Among the many species in the genus Spathidium, S. syrtis is characterized by its overall large body size.

http://protist.i.hosei.ac.jp/PDB/Im.....

Sampling Date : 27 May 2009

Sampling Site : Hirose River A  Google Map