Microlife: Dirt puddles from alley

Aug 25-29, 2012
Video: tunnelling by Atractos

This was taken the day after some light rain, the first that month. Although it was warm and things dried quickly, these two puddles were found in dirt between a paved alley and small grass slope. Some algae was visible as floating pellets in the larger and a greenish film in the smaller one, both mainly gliding cyanobacteria.

Puddle
Puddle

Aside from the algae, the inhabitants were fairly scattered. The most common were brown ciliates, which seemed to be sessilids like Astylozoon but usually with bits of debris in place of visible tails. Most drops from the smaller puddle also contained one or two bdelloids, small diatoms, Halteria, and various other ciliates.

These were also found in the larger puddle but less often. Here there were also the occasional Nassulopsis, round suctorian, or narrow spirotrich. The last replaced the brown ciliates as the most common type after four days or so. They were missing in the smaller puddle, which had its own peculiar types like green flagellates and Maryna.

↬ Thanks to ciliatologist Dr. William Bourland for the identification of Atractos contortus from this same alley, which he describes in European Journal of Protistology vol. 51 (2015).

Kingdom Bacteria
…Phylum Cyanobacteria – blue-green algae

Cyanobacteria
Cyanobacteria - about 5 µm wide
Cyanobacteria
Cyanobacteria - strands about 4 µm wide

Kingdom Plantae
…Phylum Chlorophyta – green algae

Chlorophyte
Chlorophyta - colony about 35 µm
Gonium
Gonium - colony about 24 µm
Chlorophytes
Chlorophyta - about 13, 14 µm
Chlorophyte
Chlorophyta - cell wall about 10 µm
Chlorophyte
Chlorophyta - cell wall about 17 µm

Kingdom Chromista
…Phylum Ciliophora – ciliates

Halteria
Halteria - body about 28 µm
Spirotrichea conjugating
Spirotrichea, conjugating - about 60-65 µm
Atractos contortus
Atractos - about 30 µm wide
Ciliate
Ciliophora - about 55 µm
Ciliate
Ciliophora - about 16 µm wide
Ciliate
Ciliophora - about 70 µm
Maryna
Maryna - body about 40 µm
Colpodid
Colpodidae - about 55 µm
Nassulid
Nassulida - about 90 µm
Nassulopsis
Nassulopsis - about 140 µm
Nassulopsis
Nassulopsis - about 150 µm
Phascolodon
Phascolodon - about 35 µm
Phyllopharyngea
Phyllopharyngea - about 80 µm

Phyllopharyngea - about 135 µm
Suctorian
Phyllopharynea - body about 65 µm
Ciliate
Ciliophora - about 135 µm
Ciliate
Ciliophora - about 70 µm
Ciliate
Ciliophora - about 105 µm
Ciliate
Ciliophora - about 75 µm
Ciliate
Ciliophora - about 85 µm
Hastatella
Hastatella - about 40 µm
Sessilid
Sessilida - about 70 µm
Sessilid
Sessilida - about 70 µm
Vorticella
Vorticella - body about 35 µm
Vorticella
Vorticella - body about 35 µm
Vorticellid
Vorticellidae - body about 50 µm
Vorticellid
Vorticellidae - body about 65 µm

…Phylum Ochrophyta – heterokont algae

Diatom
Diatomeae - about 24 µm
Diatom
Diatomeae - about 25 µm
Diatom
Diatomeae - about 30 µm
Diatom
Diatomeae - about 55 µm
Diatom
Diatomeae - about 60 µm

Kingdom Protozoa
…Phylum Percolozoa

Heterolobosea
Heterolobosea - about 30 µm
Heterolobosea
Heterolobosea - about 40 µm

…Phylum Amoebozoa

Discosea
Discosea - about 55 µm

Kingdom Animalia
…Phylum Gnathifera – rotifers & allies

Bdelloid
Bdelloida - about 220 µm
Bdelloid
Bdelloida - about 310 µm
Rotifer
Gnathifera - about 195 µm
Rotifer
Gnathifera - about 215 µm
Ploima
Ploima - about 260 µm

Uncertain objects

Unknown
Spore-like object - about 85 µm