Ciliate feeding frenzy

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Ciliate feeding frenzy

#1 Post by mintakax » Fri Oct 11, 2019 6:20 am

I abandoned my first culture due to an explosion of too many creepy amoebas. I started a new one with a small piece of detritus from a local pond sample to which I added one kernel of boiled corn. After 5 days there was a swarm of small flagellates. I looked at the culture two days ago and noticed a few paramecium. Today I examined a small drop next to the corn kernel and found an explosion of ciliates and parameciums. They were all fast moving either horizontally or vertically, but there were so many I thought I'd record them anyways. I was going to say that the largest of these is a P.Caudatum, but am prepared to be corrected. I will also guess the smallest to be Cyclidium. The others I do not have a guess for. I recorded two of the clips at 60fps so I could slow them down. All clips are DIC with either 10x,20x or 40x Splan Apos.

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Re: Ciliate feeding frenzy

#2 Post by 75RR » Fri Oct 11, 2019 6:42 am

Great video of the paramecia (had to look up the plural) I find them to be light shy sometimes.

Pity you did not keep the amoebae and start a new culture in a different container. You may not run into such numbers and variety that soon.
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Re: Ciliate feeding frenzy

#3 Post by Wes » Fri Oct 11, 2019 8:26 am

I'd be most delighted to get exploding amoeba populations in my cultures (maybe not the brain eating ones but still).

Great video btw! I also see a lot, perhaps too many paramecia. What are the protists in the very beginning? I'd say it looks like Oxytricha but thats more or less a guess.

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Re: Ciliate feeding frenzy

#4 Post by Aslan » Fri Oct 11, 2019 11:32 am

Great video!
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Re: Ciliate feeding frenzy

#5 Post by Bruce Taylor » Fri Oct 11, 2019 12:55 pm

Superb microscopy, mintakax, as usual!

Opening sequence is probably Tetmemena (3 stiff caudal cirri, oblong cell, common "weed" in bacteria-rich culture).

Next is Paramecium, as noted.

The diminutive hypotrich we see next is likely the product of a recent division ("proter" if front end, "opisthe" if rear).

The chubby hypotrich after it is an oxytrichid with caudal cirri, rather round cell...maybe something like Stylonychia stylomuscorum, but really can't be sure. I'd just call it "oxytrichid." Then more Paramecium, mixed with many oxytrichids of indeterminate genus. Identifying these reliably would require a lot of close focus and hard staring, and leafing through Berger's monograph of the Oxytrichidae. :D

These are all the kinds of organisms that are likely to dominate in a nutrient rich and somewhat putrescent infusorial culture...bacterivores pigging out on the products of decay. I didn't notice Cyclidium, but they could well have been there among the rest...cyclidiids would be at home in this kind of water.

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Re: Ciliate feeding frenzy

#6 Post by mintakax » Fri Oct 11, 2019 3:39 pm

Thank you 75RR, Wes, and Asian. And thank you so much Bruce for the ID and discussion. I like learning as much as I can about these organisms and knowing something about their classification and environment helps a lot. Although I realize when I start looking these names up, a much deeper "rabbit hole" appears :D .

As for the amoebae ..... My pond aquarium and cultures (35 mm Petri dishes) have been in my hot garage for the latter part of the summer. I think the heat and over feeding (my bad) contributed to what transpired. I started to notice a large predominance (many hundreds) of small amoebae, flagellates and cysts with flagellum that were the same size, shape and surface appearance as the Nagleria sp (fowleri being the brain eating amoeba variety). I know that this is a common amoeba in soil and at the bottom of ponds, so I wasn't surprised. I also know that I might have to "snort" the sample to get an actual infection myself, nonetheless, I found I was no longer enjoying observing samples from the culture or the aquarium, so I transferred the contents to a small outdoor "pond" for later observation, sterilized everything and started over.
I haven't lost my curiosity or fascination for amoebae, just giving it a breather :D

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