Coleps is a genus of ciliates. They are characterized by the presence of a biomineralized test of calcium carbonate, or chalk, in which the cell resides. At one end is a small aperture from which the cell may feed. Coleps are viscous predators, often latching onto their prey and ripping of chunks of tissue or cytoplasm. To make matters worse, Coleps are often found in swarms. These cells are around 50 micrometers in size.
Cyclidium is a small, energetic ciliate covered in many long cilia. Its pellicle is slightly ridged, and it possesses and cytostome on the central side of the cell. Surrounding the cytostome are a few oral cilia and an undulating membrane. At least 15 Cyclidium can be seen in this photo. Cyclidium cells can grow to around 30 – 40 micrometers.
This is a variant of the genus Stentor that has symbiotic algae contained in its cytoplasm. The species of this ciliate is likely Stentor Polymorphus.
Lacrymaria is a Haptorian ciliate with an extendable “trunk” that can be used to capture small prey (I observed this cell capturing and ingesting a smaller ciliate). In the featured photo, you can see how long the trunk can extend (some of which is off-screen). In the photo below, the trunk is completely retracted, giving the ciliate a scrunched appearance.
Within the microaquarium, I found only one of these Euplotes-like hypotrichs.
There were a few paramecia on the slide as well.
Little, round ciliate
The ciliate in the photo above closely resembles the Karyorelictean ciliate, Loxodes.
Here, a Chilodonella attempts to pull an alga through its cyrtos. The alga, of course, is too large for the predator’s cyrtos to engulf.
This ciliate (which was mentioned in earlier posts) bares a striking resemblance to the hypotrich Uroleptus. Below are two of these ciliates completed binary fission.