A Spirotrich ciliate "hatching" from its cyst

Images made through a microscope. All subject types.

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Bruce Taylor
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Location: Wakefield, Quebec / Ottawa, Ontario

A Spirotrich ciliate "hatching" from its cyst

Post by Bruce Taylor »

This is something I haven't seen before. The ditch this sample was taken from was on the verge of freezing. After 24 hours in a warm house, this encysted ciliate seems to have decided it was spring.

It's interesting to see how the cyst wall softens. Presumably, the creature emits a chemical trigger of some sort.


I believe it to be a Stylonychia of some kind. The caudal cirri are not very prominent in this footage, but I caught sight of them after turning off the camera.

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Post by Mitch640 »

This is also a new one for me. I have seen nematode and rotifer eggs ready to hatch, but the process seems to be long and involved and I have never caught the act of breaking out. Breaking out of a cyst must be much the same.

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Post by Cactusdave »

Fascinating. I have never seen this before.
Leitz Ortholux 1, Zeiss standard, Nikon Diaphot inverted, Canon photographic gear

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