Microlife: Dirt puddle from alley

Sep 13-17, 2014
Previous sample

At this point there had been both early snow and then light rain. Much of it had dried, but in this alley a dirt puddle was apparently sustained by a pile of melting snow on the grass just above it. It was still large enough to contain a floating mat, made of gliding cyanobacteria, which was taken along with some mud from below.

Puddle
Atractos paths

Aside from bacteria, ciliates were predominant. The most common were spirotrichs including narrow crawling types, springing Halteria, and digging Atractos contortus. The latter would trace out winding paths or pull together heaps of dirt particles as they searched about the slide, which I have not seen from other types.

There were also many vorticellids, probably larger and smaller colpodids, Phascolodon, and brown ciliates like Astylozoon but with off-centre tails as before. Some mention may also be given to occasional suctorians on films, Maryna, and small green flagellates.

↬ Thanks to ciliatologist Dr. William Bourland for the identification of A. contortus in water sent from this puddle, which he gives a full description in European Journal of Protistology vol. 51 (2015), and also to Dr. Ivan Dovgal for the identification of Metacineta.

Kingdom Bacteria
…Phylum Cyanobacteria – blue-green algae

Cyanobacteria
Cyanobacteria - about 7 µm wide

Kingdom Plantae
…Phylum Chlorophyta – green algae

Chlorophyte
Chlorophyta - cell wall about 20 µm

Kingdom Chromista
…Phylum Ciliophora – ciliates

Spirotrich
Spirotrichea - about 50 µm
Spirotrich
Spirotrichea - about 80 µm
Spirotrich
Spirotrichea - about 65 µm
Atractos contortus
Atractos - about 155 µm
Atractos contortus
Atractos - about 45 µm wide
Halteria
Halteria - about 25 µm wide
Halteria
Halteria - about 30 µm
Spirotrich
Spirotrichea - about 100 µm
Spirotrich
Spirotrichea - about 130 µm
Spirotrich
Spirotrichea - about 130 µm
Spirotrich dividing
Spirotrichea, dividing - halves about 80-85 µm
Maryna
Maryna - body about 35 µm
Ciliates
Maryna, Colpodidae - bodies about 35, 90 µm
Colpodid
Colpodidae - about 60 µm
Ciliate
Ciliophora - about 160 µm
Ciliate
Ciliophora - about 65 µm
Nassulid
Nassulida - about 130 µm
Nassulopsis
Nassulopsis - about 105 µm
Phascolodon
Phascolodon - about 50 µm
Phyllopharyngea
Phyllopharyngea - about 90 µm
Phyllopharyngea
Phyllopharyngea - about 140 µm
Metacineta
Metacineta - body about 40 µm
Suctorian
Phyllopharyngea - body about 60 µm
Suctorian
Phyllopharyngea - body about 70 µm
Suctorian
Phyllopharyngea - body about 90 µm
Ciliate
Ciliophora - about 70 µm
Ciliate
Ciliophora - about 85 µm
Ciliate
Ciliophora - about 50 µm
Sessilid
Sessilida - about 50 µm
Vorticella
Vorticella - body about 40 µm
Vorticellid
Vorticellidae - body about 50 µm
Vorticellid
Vorticellidae - body about 75 µm

…Phylum Ochrophyta – heterokont algae

Diatom
Diatomeae - about 55 µm

Kingdom Protozoa
…Phylum Euglenozoa

Euglenid
Euglenida - about 40 µm

…Phylum Amoebozoa

Discosea
Discosea - about 55 µm
Arcella
Arcella - shell about 50 µm

Kingdom Animalia
…Phylum Gnathifera – rotifers & allies

Bdelloid
Bdelloida - about 350 µm
Ploima
Ploima - about 270 µm

…Phylum Nematoda – roundworms

Roundworm
Nematoda - about 650 µm

Uncertain objects

Unknown
Bacterial film - cells about 2-3 µm
Unknown
Yellowish cell - about 25 µm
Unknown
Radiose amoeba - body about 25 µm
Unknown
Spore-like object - about 60 µm