Day 80: Lachrymaria’s fleeting dance and a moving period.

The pond water receded by 50% about a month ago, and so I went back to the lake to the same region and procured more water to fill it up. I am sure I added a few more lifeforms to what was already there as a few days before starting this post, I noticed an explosion of small aquatic snails. A survey of the water sample suggested that many of the same critters still remained such as Daphnia, Spirostomum, rotifers Halteria, but on Day 80 when I peered again, two new microscopic denizens made their appearance.

12. Lachrymaria. A fleeting dance of this ciliate excited me to no end. I wish I could have gazed at the sample long enough. Lachrymaria can extend its “neck” 10 times its body length and also eats other ciliates. I am hoping it flourishes in the pond culture.

13. Unknown chlorophyte (moving period/full stop)?  Under the microscopes, these look like moving periods/full stops. Their dark color doesnt give away any characteristic cellular features. I looked to identify it in some of the books I have, but I can imagine that this species doesnt get much attention. i also saw it in the Dipor Beel water sample. My current hypothesis is that this is a chlorophyte alga, with a dark pigment. I think I see a pyeroid like body as in chlamydomonas, but this needs further investigation.

Previous posts with this pond water sample: Day 1, Day 6, Day 17, Day 27, Day 31

4 Comments Add yours

  1. Manu Prakash says:

    Dear @Laks

    Today you have captured the enigmatic mystery that has driven me into microscopy since I was a kid; the desire to see Lachrymaria in the wild. Wow wow wow. As far as mysteries go; this swan neck has got a long neck. And you just saw it 🙂

    It’s so fast; it makes me question all the theories about cellular “cognition” – begging me to ask questions about how does a single cell compute behavior. With our anthropomorphic view of cognition and “circuits” and “storage of state in a wiring diagram” – here are some really unique organisms that beg us to think differently..

    Going to the pond tomorrow. Curious if you used the plankton tow this time?

    We should announce a “honorary” token award for the enigmatic eukaryote of the week; you just won that award ten times over.


  2. laksiyer says:

    Dear @Manu. I wish I could have gotten a better view. I tried and tried with no luck. It came and disappeared like the Loch Ness monster. Lachrymaria has long been lost to science. The best works on it are over 40 years old. Perhaps the time is ripe to study it from viewpoints that have never been considered before.

    Richard Howey is the world expert on Lachrymaria culturing.

    I am hoping to get it again. I just used the plankton net today to keep my bottle full. Cant wait to search the sample again tomorrow.

  3. Manu says:

    @Laks: Quick question – were you imaging with a 100X lens for the Lachrymaria video?


  4. laksiyer says:

    No it was the 140x.

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