Detail view (dorsal surface) of the large pleurostomatid ciliate, Loxophyllum meleagris (Mueller,1773) Dujardin, 1841. The strongly laterally compressed cell is scimitar-shaped in outline. . The cell is slightly contractile and highly flexible. The rounded anterior end is curved dorsally. The posterior is bluntly tapered. The right side is more densely ciliated than the left. Somatic kineties are longitudinal. The dorsal edge bears characteristic nodular protrusions called extrusome warts (seen well here). The slit-like cytostome is located along the anteroventral edge. There is one posterior contractile vacuole which has a long collecting canal extending anteriorly along the dorsal edge of the cell. The macronucleus (part of which is seen well here) is moniliform. There are multiple inconspicuous micronuclei (not seen here). L.meleagris swims slowly, gliding gracefully over the substrate. L.meleagris feeds on other ciliates and even metazoans such as rotifers. Differentiated from the similar L. helus by its much larger size. Collected from a freshwater agricultural irrigation ditch near McCall, Idaho 9/21/03. DIC. 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 Loxophyllum meleagris: This pleurostomatid ciliate is 100 to 500 microns long, mostly 350-400 microns. The cell is laterally compressed, elongate, and has an anterior neck-like region that bends towards the dorsal edge. This benthic ciliate always lies on its right side and is highly contractile. The slit-like oral region extends from the tip of the neck often to the posterior end, but may in some species it ends subtermanally. There are three perioral kineties running along the ventral slit that possess cilia equal in lenght to the somatic cilia: one kinety runs along the right margin and two on the left of the oral aperture. Somatic kineties run the entire length of the cell. The cilia on the left (upper) surface are reduced; those on the right surface (associated with the substrate) are longer. One to several specialised dorsal kineties, consisting of reduced cilia, can be seen under ideal conditions and in silver stained specimens. On the dorsal edge there are wart-like bumps, containing extrusomes. Typically many, and sometimes only two, macronuclei Found in benthic and interstitial sites in both marine and freshwater habitats. Contractile vacuole with canal running along the dorsal side of the cell. World-wide distribution. Common. |