More on desmid eaters
by Mike Dingley, Australia
In last months' (May) edition of Micscape, William Ells wrote an article Desmids and Other Algae- Primary Producers in the Food Chain. He mentions a rotifer Tetrasiphon hydrocora which had a desmid from the genus Micrasterias in its stomach. I have actually photographed this rotifer (shown below) which I found in a sample in New South Wales, Australia . The image shows the rotifer in question which contains two genera, namely Closterium and Netrium, within its body cavity. However, I did not see the rotifer ingesting the algae but photographed it as is.
The second image (below) shows a ciliate, possibly Paramecium sp? Which also contains some desmids. These are Pleurotaenium and likely to be Pl. trabecula.
If anyone has images of animals that have fed on desmids I would like to hear from you on firstname.lastname@example.org
Many thanks to Dr. Russell Shiel for identifying the rotifer.
First published in June 1998 Micscape Magazine.
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