Welcome to Bio*Pedia!
Bio*Pedia is a repository of descriptions of organisms and a partner of the Encyclopedia of Life (EOL). Descriptions added to Bio*Pedia will be harvested at regular intervals, and will appear on EOL species pages.1
Want to contribute a text description for an EOL species page now? Here are a few easy steps to get started:
- Please register with Bio*Pedia or login if you are already registered (Bio*Pedia has a separate registration system from EOL).
- If you are not registered yet, please fill in all fields in the registration
form. You will receive an e-mail with a registration confirmation link shortly. After you click this link, you can begin contributing to Bio*Pedia and EOL.
- Type the scientific name of the species that you wish to add a description to (without author and year) into the search box, select and jump to the species name, and click on the "Add description" link in the upper left corner of the page. Type your description into the lower (yellow) box, choose the appropriate license, click "Save description", and your description will immediately appear in Bio*Pedia, which means that it is on the way to EOL!1
1Please note that your description will not appear immediately on EOL Species Pages. If submitted descriptions are deemed inappropriate or inaccurate, they may not be included in EOL.
Description of Vorticella:
As with the majority of peritrich ciliates, Vorticella has a bell-shaped body and attached to the substrate by means of a stalk. The stalk is contractile, there is an inner element called the spasmoneme that can contract very rapidly. Contractile elements also extend into the body of the cell so the body rounds up when the cell contracts. Normally, there is a wreath of feeding cilia at the unattached end of the cell, and these create a water current from which small particles of food (mostly bacteria) can be removed and ingested. Vorticella cells usually reproduce by forming a daughter cell that has a basal wreath of cilia. This cell breaks away from the parent, and swims around as a cylindrical telotroch larva. Eventually it settles, attached by the back end, withdraws the basal wreath of cilia, secretes the stalk and changes into a more conical shape. Occasionally, when conditions are not satisfactory, cells may sprout a basal wreath of cilia, break away from their stalk, and swim around settling at another location. This is a solitary species, in that the cells do not form colonies, although it is not unusual to find many individual Vorticella cells living side-by-side and to form a cluster. The behavior of contracting is quite distinctive and because of this, we know that this is one of the first free-living protozoa to be described (by Antony van Leeuwenhoek in the 17th century).
|Images of Vorticella from micro*scope|
Cellular life 
Vorticella campanula 
Vorticella chlorostigma 
Vorticella citrina 
Vorticella convallaria 
Vorticella dilitata 
Vorticella hamata 
Vorticella marginata 
Vorticella microstoma 
Vorticella nebulifera 
Vorticella patellina 
Vorticella picta 
Vorticella quadrangularis 
Vorticella venusta