Oxnerella (ox-ner-ell-a) is a centrohelid heliozoon - the most speciose group of heliozoa. As with other heliozoa, it has radiating arms which intercept swimming prey which are captured by the extrusomes (the lumps on the arms) and then ingested. This genus includes spicules with fine spicules. Those spicules may be so delicate as not to be readily visible (if at all) by light microscopy. Heterophrys is similar but has delicate organic spicules. These may be very hard to see by light microscopy, and this can easily lead to misidentification. Phase contrast. This picture was taken by David Patterson of material from Limulus-ridden sediments at Plum Island (Massachusetts USA) in spring and summer, 2001. Image copyright: D. J. Patterson, image used under license to MBL (micro*scope).
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From the collection
Plum Island, Massachusetts coast, USA
|Description of Oxnerella: Centroheliozoa with a naked cell surface. Nucleus with a large endosome. With a single marine species O. maritima Dobell, 1917. |