Portrait of adult form of the suctorian, Podophrya fixa (MUELLER,1786) Ehrenberg,1833. The cell body of the adult form has a spherical cell body atop a slender, hollow, rigid stalk that attaches to the substrate by an adhesive disc (seen here). There are numerous retractile capitate tentacles distributed over the entire cell surface. The knobs at the ends of the tentacles are aggregates of specialized extrusomes called haptocysts. These fix prey (usually ciliates) the contents of which are then transported to the cell body through the tentacles. No lorica. The adult form is very similar in appearance to Prodiscophrya but swarmer form of Podophrya has only one contractile vacuole while that of Prodiscophrya has two. The granular, spheroid macronucleus is central. The ciliated larval or swarmer form develops by budding. Podophrya may form a unique transversely ringed stalked resting cyst. Found in sapropelic habitats. From organically enriched bottom sediment of freshwater pond near Boise, Idaho. DIC optics. This image was taken by William Bourland. He now uses a Zeiss Axioskop 2 with Spot Insight and Spot Flex CCD cameras (Diagnostic Instruments). Image copyright: William Bourland, image used under license to MBL (micro*scope).
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From the collection
Freshwater and Terrestrial Microbes of Idaho (USA) and Elsewhere
|Description of Podophrya fixa: Suctorian ciliate, 10-28 microns long. This species closely resembles P. maupasi in shape but there are more tentacles and the body is without a gelatinous covering. The stalk is transversely striated along its entire length. |