Feb 182015

In my previous post on the lorica-dwelling scuticociliate Calyptotricha pleuronemoides, I mentioned that only two substantial articles have been written about the species since its discovery (apart from brief descriptions in various places). Until yesterday, I’d been unable to find the second article, which appeared in the German microscopy journal Mikrokosmos in 1999. Luckily, one of the co-authors, Martin Kreutz, was kind of enough to send me a copy!


Calyptotricha pleuronemoides. Image by Martin Kreutz. Source: micro*scope. Click on image for link to source.

Martin tells me he sees the organism frequently in water from the sphagnum ponds of Simmelried, a system of bog lakes, like the one in Ottawa’s Mer Bleue where I sometimes find Calyptotricha. He and Philipp Mayer provide a good redescription of the ciliate, with morphometrics. Their measurements match those of the specimens I’ve found, and agree with those of Phillips and D.S. Kellicott. (All sources give a size range somewhat smaller than that recorded by Alfred Kahl, who gives 50 µm for the length of the cell, and 85 µm for the lorica).

The Mikrokosmos article is difficult to find, so I thought I might give a brief redescription of the species, based on the information collected by Kreutz and Mayer:

Calyptotricha pleuronematoides:  Pleuronematid ciliates, in spindle-shaped hyaline lorica 56-75 µm long, tubular with narrowed openings at either end, 9-13 µm in width. Lorica broadens in the middle to a width of 23-24 µm. Cell body resembling Cyclidium, slightly flattened back to front, 22-35 µm long, 15-24 µm wide, somewhat concave on the ventral surface, where oral apparatus occupies 3/4 of body length. L-shaped undulating membrane, made up of fused cilia, 14 µm long. Caudal cilium 10-12 µm long; roughly 17 somatic kineties, spaced 2-3 µm apart. Most specimens with 8-15 zoochlorellae, colorless examples rare. Single oval macronucleus, with small spherical micronucleus. CV in posterior.

The authors mention that specimens are seldom seen outside of their loricas. Free-swimming individuals move quickly, but not as jerkily as Cyclidium.  I happen to have recorded a free-swimming Calyptotricha, last year, so I might as well post it here:


Kreutz, Martin, and Philipp Mayer. “Artikel-Calyptotricha pleuronemoides-Ein Ciliat in einer Rohre.” Mikrokosmos 88.1 (1999): 27-30.

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