no idea...what could it be?

Images made through a microscope. All subject types.

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Franz Neidl
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Location: Italy

no idea...what could it be?

Post by Franz Neidl »

I need help for identification. This brown sphere had a diameter from 165 µm. I found it in marine plankton.
A stack (DIC) with 5 pictures.



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Post by NikonUser »

This resembles an oospore and the bulbous setae of the green alga Bulbochaete. I have seen F/W specimens but not sure if there are any marine ones.
Of course, I could be way off with the ID.
student of entomology
Quote – Holmes on ‘Entomology’
” I suppose you are an entomologist ? “
” Not quite so ambitious as that, sir. I should like to put my eyes on the individual entitled to that name.
No man can be truly called an entomologist,
sir; the subject is too vast for any single human intelligence to grasp.”
Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr
The Poet at the Breakfast Table.

Nikon camera, lenses and objectives
Olympus microscope and objectives

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Location: England

Post by BJ »

Hi Franz,

I have been puzzling over this !

i do not know the identity, but I have some thoughts....

1 The clear "spines" do not seem to occur equally spaced all around the "sphere".

2. Although the spines are similar to each other they are not identical.

3. the wall of the spines looks distinctly "vegetable" rather than "animal" to me.

My conclusion from 1 and 2 is that the spines represent individual organisms and are not an integral part of the spherical organism. If this is correct, then they could indeed be parasitic on the sphere.

My working hypothesis (these are usually wrong !!) is that the sphere represents an algal or fungal zygospore (or something similar) parasitised by a number of hyphochytridiomycetes (eg Rhizidiomyces)

Perhaps marine or ? freshwater or terrestrial and washed into the sea?

Enough guesswork for one day!
Hopefully someone will know what it is.

Thank you for sharing all these wonderful specimens you keep finding,

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Post by Mitch640 »

Franz, a beautiful picture. Whatever it is, it looks like he is collecting broken laboratory flasks. :)

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Post by rjlittlefield »

jc maccagno, welcome aboard!

I see you're having trouble with the image tags. Please see my reply to your email, for an explanation of this and other procedures for posting.

I notice that your first image is named "...unknown..." Do you know what these things are, or are you providing more images of apparently similar subjects from other environments?


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Location: England

Post by BJ »

Hi Franz,

I´ve managed to identify this as the reproductive stage of the fungus Phyllactinia. See my post in this thread for more detail: ... hp?t=11922

..thank you for the challenge !

kind regards,


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Post by Mitch640 »

BJ, yeah, this is the one. I love it when a plan comes together. :)

jc maccagno
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Post by jc maccagno »

Hello Mitch,

I have pictures of a pink Stentor that look very familiar to your specimen..will send as new topic.'


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