Does anybody know this ciliate?

Images made through a microscope. All subject types.

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rjlittlefield
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Does anybody know this ciliate?

Post by rjlittlefield »

Image

At least I presume this is a ciliate, though I've never actually seen any cilia. I've seen it only a few times. It appears once in this video, just to the right of the paramecium as the video opens. In the video, it's seen to be planar and flexible, able to tip up at least its margin to quite an extent.

I happened to be shooting video again when it appeared this evening. Mostly it was just gliding along the slide, not doing much except moving from place to place without changing shape. Once, though, it released from the slide and swam off, turning sideways for an instant as it did so. From the short sequence of sideways views, it appeared to be very flat on the bottom, with a humped body on the top (upper right panel).

I've scanned through Jahn's book, but without success.

Does anybody recognize this beast?

--Rik

Ken Ramos
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Post by Ken Ramos »

A good challange you have presented us with Rik but I can't say as I know the beast. Usually the first thing I reach for is Jahns when I find something that I cannot fathom but then again even that is limited when you consider there are over 50 to 60,000 species of these beasts, collectively speaking of protozoa that is, with more being found everyday. A nice composite though. :D

bernhardinho
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Post by bernhardinho »

Hi Rik,

one doesn't see much detail, but I would venture a shot in the dark (or rather in the bright) and go for Chilodonella. Maybe that hint helps you to clarify the ID next time you encounter the beastie. (usually there are lots and lots of these in a sample).

Bernhard

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Post by rjlittlefield »

Hi Bernhard,

Thanks for the suggestion. I will see if I can find another one of these beasts and get you some better pictures. The few times that I have seen this kind, I have been struck by the lack of detail even looking directly through the eyepiece. With most ciliates, my eye is quickly drawn to some definite structure or movement. But these things give me the impression of a ghost -- very transparent compared to the other bugs, lots of nondescript vacuoles, but nothing like obvious cilia movement, pharyngeal basket, or prominent nucleus to catch my attention. The general shape does seem similar to Chilodonella, but I can't make the details match up with what I see in Jahn (just one picture!) or searching the web.

Any other ideas come to mind?

Thanks!

--Rik

Thomas Ashcraft
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Post by Thomas Ashcraft »

Rik wrote : "Any other ideas come to mind?"


Rik,

Yes, maybe identification needs more detail. Maybe you'll get a hint of its mouth in next pics.

Here's a pic of Chilodinella at Micro*Scope:
http://starcentral.mbl.edu/microscope/p ... mageid=146

Hard to say.

Also, your fellow is getting bopped around pretty good in the video.

Tom

rjlittlefield
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Post by rjlittlefield »

Hi Folks,

I finally found another one, in about 8 slide preps. Hypotrichs, I got those, and paramecia and colpidia (or some such) all over the place, but these fellows are quite a lot harder to come by!

Fortunately I'm slowly figuring out how to keep all these beasts constrained under a cover slip without messing them up. The key trick for tonight was to put three small thin dots of superglue on the slide, to elevate the cover slip. Kind of a quick and dirty form of ringing, I suppose, although I guess there might also be some small advantage of continued air infiltration. In any event, this beast stayed findable and only a little changed for over two hours, in a roughly 5mm diameter drop under the cover slip.

Image

I have to say, Chilodonella looks a lot better after these pics.

I'm now seeing what I take to be the mouth, and I'm also seeing the curving lines of cilia (I suppose) that follow the body contours as shown in Jahn. The one puzzlement is that I still have never seen anything like the macronucleus that's shown at http://www.pirx.com/droplet/gallery/chilodonella.html, along with the comment that "The oval-shaped macronucleus is well visible in brightfield".

40X NA 0.65 objective, 10X eyepiece, Canon SD700 IS camera. The subject is on the underside of the coverslip. The brownish out-of-focus blobs are other protozoa at deeper levels.

I confess, I'm not quite sure what I changed with the illumination in the last panel. A topic for later investigation, obviously. BTW, that last panel has been contrast enhanced by addition of a Photoshop level adjust [43,1.00,185]. Compared to the others, it was very low contrast without the level adjust.

Further comments / suggestions?

--Rik

bernhardinho
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Post by bernhardinho »

Hi Rik,

well, seeing this pics, I am sure it's Chilodonella. Maybe I'm less sure about the species. I think it's rather Ch. uncinata.

Image


Bernhard

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Post by rjlittlefield »

Bernhard,

Chilodonella sp. is plenty good enough for me.

I'm still trying to figure out how to match up what I see in the books with what I see in the scope!

Many thanks for the confirmation & further info.

--Rik

Thomas Ashcraft
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Post by Thomas Ashcraft »

Your higher mag pics are very fine Rik. Very cool microscope work. - Tom

Ken Ramos
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Post by Ken Ramos »

Some very good shots there Rik, looks as though the IPB says it all. Can't argue with that I suppose. :D

rjlittlefield
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Post by rjlittlefield »

Thomas, thanks for the encouragement! This high-mag stuff is still pretty challenging for me, and dang these critters move fast!

Ken, thanks to you too, but I have to ask, what's an "IPB?" (According to Google, it's a kind of forum software -- Invision Power Board -- but somehow I don't think that's what you mean?! :? )

--Rik

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