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PostPosted: Sat Feb 10, 2018 10:23 pm 
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Hi all, we experience odd week durations of winter temps in 'the teens' here in fingerlakes/US...often the temp then goes up to 'high twenties F degrees for week durations. My good doggie needs exercise, and I elected to take a stream hike to specifically collect Gammerus amphipod crusteaceans from our nearby streams bottom leaf-litter. My doggie is up for stream hikes despite the cold ambient winter air temperature on last weeks hike.

Gammerus crusteaceans are an important member of lake, pond, stream, river, temporary seasonal waters, ground waters, cave/emergant spring waters assemblages...so I always am charmed by encounters with the variety of Gammerus, and the few other genuses of amphipod crusteaceans I encounter on outdoor microscopy collection hikes.

These hardy and all year active Gammerus fasciatus amphipod crusteaceans are tolerant of a variety of indoor culture maintenance setups. I never had interest in breeding these organisms...I just enjoy their being another 'trophic layer' in my balanced indoor microcosms...I sprinkle a variety of indoor non-flowing water setups with these Gammerus stream neighbors of ours.

Charlie guevara


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 10, 2018 11:12 pm 
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These male/female pairs are termed precopulatory guarding of females pairs. This is a common Gammerus strategy to keep a female from escape to breed (when female is ready) with another male Gammerus amphipod crusteacean...'no cutting in' on this dance pairing!

Again...lots of terrific behaviors manifested by these tiny but important freshwater neighbors...I enjoy keeping a few in a variety of indoor stable microcosms. Charlie guevara


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 10, 2018 11:30 pm 
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Should one provide them some leaf litter in the indoor microcosm?
CE

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 10, 2018 11:41 pm 
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Very Interesting!!


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 11, 2018 11:48 pm 
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Hi, CE and einman...yup, CE, these are easy to maintain indoors as...well as meal worms! These are excellent live food to feed indoor ( or outdoor fish) fish or salamanders..and like I mentioned..I add them to longstanding indoor microcosms to have 'another player/ another organism' in the materials and energy flows of my longstanding stable cultures(microcosms).

Yes the fallen and partially biodegraded leaf litter from the waters these are collected from are excellent food source for Gammerus..as well as the microalgae epiphytes adherent to the degrading stream leaves. Yup, Gammerus as easy as keeping, snails or other freshwaters inhabitants. In our laundry room..I have a Deiffenbauchia houseplant cutting which I just didn't get to pot before winter setin...heh, heh..this container ( how did this happen?!!) now hosts, Gammerus, snails, water fleas, etc. . Charlie guevara

BTW the jar microcosm at my side bench has been brought up from our downstate home..it's over fourteen years old..it's variety of water mites, water fleas are fun to repeatedly encounter over the years...I used to do a periodic census of that retasked canning-food jar. Please give stable indoor microcosms a try wether you are city resident, suburban, or rural.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 20, 2018 12:38 am 
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Well, the Gammerus have acclimated to our indoor temp regime ( ? 67F? approx.). Some of the male/female pairs have separated from eachother...and some females now ( 2/19/18) have developing fertilized eggs on their brood plates. If not too tedious, I may dedicate a small dish to ongoing Gammerus population maintenance. Eventually I will have to pot that Diffenbauchia house-plant thriving in a water bucket in our laundry room...so that freshwater assemblage will be dumped outdoors in my artificial stream project.

A few of dislodged plates from the Gammerus female I dislodged fertilized eggs from...well these plates suggest my first encounter with an unknown to me...epizoic organism! I'm excited for this finding! I sense it is a protest epizoic, but I will enjoy this microscopy exploration in coming days! As I mentioned in earlier posts...Gammerus amphipod crusteaceans are in lot's of aquatic environments...and they are hardy, easy to maintain, exhibit fascinating behaviors.

Charlie Guevara , finger lakes/US where oddly temps are expected to reach 60's degrees F tomorrow...welcome to our 'new normal'.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 20, 2018 12:44 am 
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These developing eggs are rich in transitions day to day. Charlie guevara


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 20, 2018 12:52 am 
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Most exciting to me is observing a totally 'new to me' epizoic organism attached to dislodged plates of the female Gammerus individual I dislodged developing eggs from.

I sense this organism is a protest...but perhaps I will with microscopy world views...get a sense of what organism this unknown is...yes, yes, freshwater live microscopy is fascinating for me...err...I'll calm down. Charlie guevara


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 20, 2018 12:56 am 
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Yes, yes, I sense this epizoic ( totally new to me) is a protozoan! Charlie guevara


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 20, 2018 12:59 am 
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yes yes...a new to me epizoic!


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 20, 2018 1:03 am 
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I sense these two epizoics are protozoans! Charlie guevara


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 20, 2018 2:31 pm 
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That was a neat find!!...


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 27, 2018 5:00 pm 
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To date I have observed three types of epizoic organisms on these winter stream Gammerus amphipod crusteaceans! A new to me type of rotifer, from within the cluttered plates and numerous leg appendages of these Gammerus crusteaceans. A type of protozoan peritrich ciliate from the anterior antennae appendages. And a third protest which I sense may be a suctorian protozoan..I need to further look into this subject.

Recall that classic poem: 'big fleas have little fleas..upon their backs to bite 'em, and littler fleas have smaller fleas..and so on infinitum'!? Charlie guevara


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 27, 2018 5:11 pm 
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I'm quite pleased with these Gammerus amphipods...their behaviors, their developing fertilized eggs, their epizoic organisms...please enjoy a peek at freshwater microscopy where ever you reside.

Charlie Guevara. BTW...how do I myself delete entire posts I made to this thread? In 'edit function' I see no tool to delete an entire post. By error..I posted a string of posts...how do I delete entire posts? thanks for advice or comments.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 28, 2018 2:01 pm 
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Very neat stuff, and great photos.
I have never figured out how to delete my posts either. I think Oliver has to do the deleting, but I could be wrong.
CE

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 28, 2018 6:34 pm 
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Thanks CE, for letting me know that I'm not the only one who wants to/ but can't delete posts made in error...sigh.

I enjoy finding new epiphyes and epizoics on protozoa, rotifers, flatworms, water fleas...and crusteaceans. These Gammerus associated organisms are a treat for me.

Somewhere I read it opined that there may be as many or more internal/external parasites as there are freeliving host organisms...and then we also have all these epizoics!

I hope to this year look for protozoan epizoics on our common water striders ( Gerus the genus, I think). And there are common flagellate protozoa which thrive within Milkweed plants...within their white inner fluids! It's great microscopy for me. I still need to learn more about the branched organism I observe on the plates of Gammerus..perhaps a suctorian protozoan?

Charlie Guevara at near start of finger lakes/US spring'18


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 28, 2018 6:59 pm 
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charlie g wrote:
And there are common flagellate protozoa which thrive within Milkweed plants...within their white inner fluids!

We grow a lot of milkweed for the Monarch butterflies, I'll look into that. Thanks for mentioning it!
CE

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 02, 2018 2:40 am 
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Yes yes...I always forget to look for these easy to observe protozoans in the milk weed sap. Sadly 2017 growth season...only one (1!) Monarch sighted the entire season.

Charlie guevara


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 03, 2018 9:33 pm 
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Our area stream hike today (3/3/18) was dubiously enchanted...what I term 'pillow-snow canopies' loomed ready to dump on my dear camera...I like my camera...I do not want to ruin it with a high poundage of 'pillow canopies snow'. My good doggie lead this hike...but he could only dislodge a small amount of the canopy pillow snows..waiting to dump on me and my camera...I was quite leary of entering the stream for Gammerus samples today! By now female amphipods have molted their exo-carapecis and thus escaped their male Gammerus amphipods total embrace.

Of course I could have configured a shelter/carry bag for my dear camera...but frankly...I am reluctant to myself endure pounds of pillow snow dumped on my head in a microscopy stream hike!

Our 'nor-easter storm' is over...fingerlakes/NY only had pounds of snow to deal with...we all are sad of coastal storm surges of this now ended storm. Charlie guevara


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 21, 2018 12:56 am 
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Yup, it's 3/20/18...and 8 degrees F at 6 am...but doggie needs exercise..so a stream collection hike is our mission. A new to me epizoic rotifer ( I provided a few image-captures of this rotifer earlier in this thread)..well this rotifer in groups again observed attached at base of the amphipod's mid section appendages. And that new to me organism attached to the amphipod ventral plates...what an excitement for me to speculate just what these epizoics are...I think suctorian protozoans! Charlie guevara


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 21, 2018 1:26 am 
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The Gammerus amphipod crusteaceans are so muscular and powerful ( yes yes, these are mini-prawns/ mini shrimp)...I could glimpse the epizoic attached rotifers..but I simply could not image-capture these rotifers 'in situ'/ attached at base of the amphipods mid section appendages. When I scrubbed specimens of Gammerus, I had quite a number of dislodged rotifers to observe with DF contrast illumination. Charlie guevara


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 21, 2018 1:35 am 
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These gill plate attached organisms really please me to observe! I need to explore resources to ID what these organisms are! I sense these are suctorian protozoans. Charlie guevara


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 21, 2018 3:10 pm 
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Looking forward to more of your musings + adventures with your doggie

Curious indeed... let us know if you manage to ID it.
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 21, 2018 3:38 pm 
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Hi Charlie G.,

This is a very interesting find!... Please keep us undated on you findings.. Thanks for sharing..

BillT


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 21, 2018 6:14 pm 
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I for one would like to know just how you go about scrubbing these Gammerus amphipod crusteaceans. They are, after all, quite small.
CE

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 21, 2018 10:19 pm 
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Hi, BillT, CE, and 75RR...indeed a picture earlier in this thread depicts these delightful amphipod crusteaceans in a plastic spoon. These muscular and robust crusteaceans tolerate being 'held down in place' for a few scrubs with any sort of fine wire probe.

Yet it just hit me in the mouth...I recently balked at the 18th century microscopists device: ...'the compressorium' in another kind forum members thread...think folks of a cattle: 'squeeze cage'...well for me to image capture these epizoic rotifers briskly churning their coronal ciliature: 'wheels' for media filtration...well I sense I will have to construct a mini-snare of sorts...to keep a Gammerus amphipod 'tied down on it's side' ( recall the experience of Guliver when he was tied down by the 'liliputians' in tale: "Gulivers Travels"?!

Again I give 'shout out' to all microscopists...urban/suburban, or rural....'big fleas have little fleas, upon their backs to bite them, littler fleas have smaller fleas...and so on ad finitum'! Please, pretty please look for epizoic, or epiphytic organisms on your neighborhood meiofauna and protists. A bird feeder in a city permits collection of specific organisms in neighbor birds droppings, feathers can contain dedicated mites specific to particular bird species...on and on...please consider the huge and satisfying microscopy of epizoic fauna and flora on host 'neighbors of your home realms'.

So good forum microscopy world view folks...I sense I need to ( like Gulliver experienced in the Jonathan Swift story) 'tie down a Gammerus amphipod meiofauna crusteacean ..to share in image captures these: 'new to me' resident epizoic rotifers of these finger lake/US stream amphipods.

All of you...all of you...think about how you might 'hold down one of these amphipods' to observe epizoics at base of these crusteaceans numerous appedages? All with area streams...shove a wide mouth plastic jar ( never use glass jars!) into your streams leaf-litter...hold the sample up to light..look for scampering Gammerus amphipods!

And now I need to see if as hobbyist, I can determine if these amphipod collected rotifers may function fine...separated from their Gammerus hosts.

It is 3/21/18....as good doggie and I waded ( I,m feeling sorry for my self as I had outdoor chores I expected to start by 3/21/18) through snows to collect stream samples...1) Eastern Blue Birds noted in our meadow, Robin-red breasts noted in our back orchard. Rythms of microscopy world views are everywhere beakoning...I'll calm down now.

It's a brief few days since our : St.Patricks Day celebration..we still have corned beef/cabbage/ pickles in our fridge for 'ruben sandwhiches'...on the way to the stream..doggie and I first mistook turkey print in snows...for a direction arrow to a leprichans forest treasure...go figue!? Charlie Guevara BTW...the turkey dropping ( similar to a hay-infusion culture media)...well the turkey dropping just might afford a fantastic: crude media stock substance...think about crude media stock vials for culture of your area protists and meiofauna.

I hope to share image captures of these epizoic rotifers on their Gammerus hosts....gulp, soon. Charlie guevara


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 21, 2018 11:33 pm 
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Try crudemedia for your area microscopy. Charlie guevara


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 22, 2018 10:34 pm 
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Thanks Charlie for the update... I find this a very interesting study and am glad you shared..

The Best,
BillT


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 04, 2018 11:54 pm 
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I need a controllable mechanism to hold a gammerid amphipod crusteacean immobile to scan it's leg bases for epibiont rotifers,,,sigh, Charlie guevara


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 05, 2018 12:43 am 
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My tedious 'thread snare' seems too often to bunch up the appendages of this amphipod exactly where epibiont rotifers are observed to be attached to this host...I need another technique to stabilize immobile a gammerid shrimp for image capture of their epibiont rotifers. Charlie guevara


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