Field of Science

Pond Microforay encore part 1 - Bicoecids and mysterious flagellate blobs

About a month ago I've done a second microforay -- same sample a week later. Amazingly, stuff was still alive.

I'll start off with more familiar things. A bicosoecid of sorts:

Another one:

What may well be another one: (I think)

I like imaging loricate Bicoecids - they're nice and sessile and don't swirl about the slide uncontrollably. Thus, they're stationary enough for the camera.

A euglenid (not sure which kind though; but I think you can almost see the pellicle strips in the first one!)

Pretty sure this one's a cryptomonad of sorts: (sitting atop a bacterial thing; spirochaete maybe?)

As an aside, spirochaetes can make pretty much anything appear motile and flagellated. They can really confuse inexperienced microscopists (like me, admittedly...). I can see where Marguilis gets her crazy "flagellum = spirochaete" ideas from...

Ciliate (Cyclidium again; they have this jumpy, peculiar (for ciliates) movement, where they actually stand still for several seconds -- quite convenient for snapping reasonable pictures)

And now for the completely unknown. Please let me know if you know anything about any of these!

(we're bordering on the resolution limit there)

A blob with a blob. (aloricate bicoecid?)

A blob in a diatom. A cyst of some sort? (note the outline)

A blob with a flagellum with a thick base.

Similar blob to the one above?

A blob in a dead algal filament:

Another colourless flagellate.

And a bigger colourless flagellate thing (I'll complain yet again about our painfully slow CCD camera)

Perplexed by the mysterious flagellates? Don't you worry -- the next installment shall include mysterious amoeboflagellates, which tend to make normal flagellate ID appear to be a piece of cake in comparison. I mean, they're flagellated like almost everything else in Eukarya, but also have a rather, malleable, cell morphology. And that's not very helpful for morphology-based identification. Unfortunately, I can't quite make out their SSU sequence from looking at the pictures...


  1. Hey great post man. Thanks.
    I rely on measuring my bugs myself rather than relying solely on literature. This software will make things easier.


  2. The mysterious flagellate blob is maybe a Polytomella...
    but I'm not sure...
    What do you think?


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