Vorticella VS. Rhabdostyla

by Dan Holloway, USA


The fish pond is a good place to get water samples for a look under the microscope and a fascinating organism is the Vorticella. If you haven't observed this creature you are missing a wonderful sight. Dark field as well as bright field yield great images. Most Vorticella can be viewed at 100x or 200x with 200x showing a lot of detail.

While watching a group of Vorticella I noticed one attached to a stalk of vegetation. Upon closer examination I watched as the head recoiled from some external stimulus while the stalk remained rigid.

This was new to me. As usual, my curiosity got the best of me and I went online to find the difference between the rigid stalk and the contractile stalk. The website Protists was very helpful in this matter. It can be found here: http://protist.i.hosei.ac.jp/PDB/Images/menuE.html

It is a wonderful resource.

Below are the pictures of the differences.

More Rhabdostyla.

Now I know the difference and so do you!


All comments or questions welcome.


Microscopy UK Front Page
Micscape Magazine

Article Library

Microscopy UK or their contributors.

Published in the August 2010 edition of Micscape Magazine.

Please report any Web problems or offer general comments to the Micscape Editor,
via the contact on current Micscape Index.

Micscape is the on-line monthly magazine of the Microscopy UK web
site at