Algae: Need help in identifying species and structures!!

For a few months, I’ve been taking samples from a lotus pond near my home. The first striking observation is the presence of algae in the water, and invariably whichever slide I made contained some or the other algal filaments. I decided therefore to study the algae a little bit too. I started with this in my months old post ( ).

But as I observed the algae, I became curious about certain structures I saw.

The following piece of algae had many such filaments of different types with these ‘vine glass’ shaped protrusions. I am curious as to what they are… They seemed too small to be vorticellae, and since I didn’t observe a lot of movement I’m not sure, and I would love if anyone can help me out.

fig.2 A few of these were quite unique with having two branches… are these dividing cells?

Apart from the vine glass shaped outgrowths, there were many other observable outgrowths in different samples, which i would love to identify.


I also saw many algae which were dense with hair like structures.Several of them had swollen ends as shown below. Again, I would really appreciate if I can know what both these structures represent and what role they play.


I further found that several of the filaments had randomly present darkened cells, which I think might be akinetes and the algae may be pithophora ( which I found some similarities to with the description on ).

fig.8: also, many filaments had parts of them empty of chloroplasts: why is that?

I also saw a bursting cell, which had all of its content oozing out of it, with the filament being twisted at that point. Why does that take place?

Is the following algae a phaecophycae?


Some of the algae had strange shapes, like this one below was almost as if it had swollen up!


Working with algae was quite fun. I’m quite inquisitive about what structures were viewed by me, as the simplicity, yet diversity of the samples observed have left me in awe.

Also, I have found with experience, that whenever attempting to make water slides, it is better to have a little algae within the slide, as:

  1. Several organisms hide themselves within these multitudinous folds!
  2. The slide itself becomes better mechanically, as there is some cushioning which prevents unknown/known samples from getting crushed, and somehow has always mitigated large air-bubbles for me!

Manan 🙂


Thank you so much @laksiyer for helping me out with several of these. Your guidance to amateur foldscopers like me encourages us to explore further.

In reference to the wine glass structures which may be diatoms, here is a clearer picture:

Also, I have found A video of fig.5:

Does this look like a ciliate? I think I can see a ring of cilia whirling on top, but would love confirmation, and if possible identification!

8 Comments Add yours

  1. laksiyer says:

    Beautiful post. My two cents. Those vineglass structures are diatoms. Some of those V-shaped structures remind me of Didymosphenia. Fig. 3 looks like a ciliate, but without any movement nothing can be said. Figure 5 might be a dormant animal like a rotifer. some of the hair-like structures are likely to be fungi.

    1. MananSuri says:

      I just recorded a video of fig.3 organism which you said might be a ciliate. Should I email it to you?
      Thank you Sir 🙂

      1. MananSuri says:

        (fig.3) In the video I could observe something like ciliary movement near it’s opening, but the cell itself was not motile.

  2. MananSuri says:

    Thank you so much for your valuable inputs.
    Fig. 3 had no movement, and I’m quite sure about that.
    Fig. 5 may indeed have been a rotifer. I checked the gallery, and that very slide had 3 rotifers in it.
    The vine glass structures are indeed diatoms, if we compare them with this image and it’s website which I found on Google:

    1. laksiyer says:

      Why dont you upload it here and we could continue the conversation here.

      1. MananSuri says:

        @laksiyer sir, I’ve edited the post to include the video at the end of the post!

  3. laksiyer says:

    Yes, very hard for me to say what it is. It could be the casing of an organism or a sessile ciliate. There is a mouth like opening but there is no bell ringing. However, will keep in mind to see if I find something similar. Keep hunting.

    1. MananSuri says:

      Thank you Sir for helping me out. I made an amateur attempt at trying to use an identification key from ‘ Ciliated Protozoans – Hartmut Bick, published by World Health Org.)’. The organism in question seemed to be similar to Rhabdostyla, and although some features are similar, they are not very similar in appearence.

      I had another favour to ask for sir… There is actually another identification post I’ve put up, and whenever you’re free if you can have a look at it and offer your valuable inputs,
      then I would be deeply gratified..

      Thank you so much for your guidance…!

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