Microlife: Meltwater puddle

Apr 14-16, 2009

This was taken from a dog park where the snow had recently melted, leaving a large puddle over the dead grass. After a day this had mostly dried up, except a smaller dirt-bottomed section, where a number of water boatsmen and beetles were hiding. Some smaller animals were also found: mosquito larvae, copepods, and a tardigrade.

Water from the first day was teeming with ciliates, especially Halteria, Astylozoon, and flat spirotrichs. There were also some litostomes like dileptids, and vorticellids along with a colony of non-contractile sessilids. Mixed in with these were very common colourless-seeming Uroglenopsis and some dinoflagellates.

Another sample there the next day had more algae including dinoflagellates, different euglenids, and occasional green algae or more golden Uroglenopsis. There were fewer ciliates but still common Halteria and loose vorticellids. Some ribbed and flat spirotrichs occurred near the bottom, and fast didiniids near the top.

↬ Thanks to ciliatologist Dr. Peter Vďačný for the identification of Phacodinium metchnikoffi and to phycologist Dr. Pavel Škaloud for the identification of Uroglenopsis.

Kingdom Plantae
…Phylum Chlorophyta – green algae

Chlorophyte
Chlorophyta - about 5 µm wide
Gonium
Gonium - colony about 55 µm
Haematococcus
Haematococcus - cell wall about 40 µm wide

Kingdom Chromista
…Phylum Ciliophora – ciliates

Phacodinium metchnikoffi
Phacodinium - about 120 µm
Halteria
Halteria - about 35 µm
Spirotrichea conjugating
Spirotrichea, conjugating - about 55 µm
Spirotrich
Spirotrichea - about 125 µm
Spirotrich
Spirotrichea - about 110 µm
Spirotrich
Spirotrichea - about 125 µm
Spirotrich dividing
Spirotrichea, dividing - halves about 100, 85 µm
Dileptid
Dileptida - about 360 µm
Didiniid
Didiniidae - about 110 µm
Spathidiida
Spathidiida - about 120 µm
Sessilid
Sessilida - bodies about 115 µm
Sessilida
Sessilida - cells up to 120 µm
Astylozoon
Astylozoon - about 60 µm
Vorticella dividing
Vorticella, dividing - bodies about 30, 25 µm
Vorticellid
Vorticellidae - body about 60 µm

…Phylum Miozoa

Dinoflagellate
Peridinea - about 25 µm
Dinoflagellate
Peridinea - about 35 µm

…Phylum Ochrophyta – heterokont algae

Uroglenopsis
Uroglenopsis - colonies about 30-40 µm
Uroglenopsis
Uroglenopsis - colony about 60 µm
Uroglenopsis
Uroglenopsis - colony about 75 µm

Kingdom Protozoa
…Phylum Euglenozoa

Euglenida
Euglenida - about 55 µm
Euglena
Euglena - about 95 µm
Euglena
Euglena - about 160 µm
Trachelomonas
Trachelomonas - about 30 µm

Kingdom Animalia
…Phylum Tardigrada

Tradigrade
Tardigrada - about 485 µm

…Phylum Arthropoda – insects, crustaceans & allies

Cyclopoid
Cyclopoida - body about 630 µm