Field of Science

Mystery Micrograph #19

Time for another one. Christopher Taylor's unidentifiable SEM in Name That Bug 14 made me threaten to do a random obscure flagellate for my next MM, so here it is:

Scalebars: 13-16: 5um 17-18: 0.5um; to be referenced later

I'd like the genus for this one. Kekeke... *maniacal laughter*


  1. No and no. I can see how the scales are misleading though! =D

  2. Are the scalebars in 17-18 supposed to be 0.5um?

  3. Yes! Thanks for catching that. Not a good idea to sleep'n'type, apparently...

  4. Hm, so those things are tiny. I had thought they might be some kind of cyst at first.

    Is it an Ochromonas?

  5. Nope. Seems like Ochramonas lacks scales, or even a cell wall or pellicle: Bouck & Brown 1973 JCB

    While looking that up, came across a cool site hosting a chapter:
    The cell surface of flagellates by AG Becker 2000

    The phylogenies are a bit screwed up (since it was 2000, before the fall of Archaezoa), but pretty EMs!

  6. Scalier and much, much closer. Still wrong genus though.

  7. Nope. Calkinsia is way 'hairier', that is, covered with bacteria. Johan was -really- close, by the way.

  8. Finally found it: Thaumatomonas coloniensis!

  9. So, what are the structures in 17-18? My boss and I could not figure out what they could be. I assume they're something specific to Thaumatomonas?

  10. Those are actually its surface scales. There's a diagram showing its anatomy, but it's in Russian and the copy I got through interlibrary loan is really REALLY shitty. I'll translate the original paper (and diagram) when I get around to writing up the post for this organism. I may even have to redraw the diagrams. The photocopy/scan/fax of the paper is so bad I can barely make out the letters! Have to guess some words by context and vague outline of their shape...

    This is the source paper for the image, in English but not as detailed:


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