Back to the Algae Sample: Strange Microorganism With Legs

Earlier in the month I put up a post showing some microorganisms I found in a sample I took from our horse’s water feeder that currently sprouts algae from every underwater surface, which were later identified as bdelloid rotifers by members of the community. Today I returned to the water feeder and took another sample, and found yet another microorganism – this time unlike those I found before.

While this organism was also found in amongst the plant matter, it has a very different structure to that of the rotifers. Unlike the rotifers, this creature appears to have three pairs of legs – two near the front, and one near the back, making me think that this could be some kind of insect larva. At the front appears to be a very small head, which is slightly wider than its legs.

After observing it in bright field, I then placed the sample in dark field. I noticed an interesting feature towards the back of the creature (its abdomen, if it is an insect) which is a constant moving fuzziness (like television static) within the creature’s body. I found this interesting because other parts of the creature gain this fuzzy effect temporarily when moving, but this effect is constant at the back of the creature even though this part of the organism is not moving. I was using the LED module as part of the Digital Deluxe kit for my light source, which emitted a constant output of light.

Finally, I left this sample on my desk for a few hours and came back to find that it looked to be desiccated (the PVC coverslip had started to come off). As a result, the creature was found in what looked to be a dead state, as it wasn’t moving, and its body seems less dense than before (or at least, light seems to pass through it more easily to give a clearer outline). My guess is that this could be due to it drying up.

As before, any help in identifying this organism would be greatly appreciated, alongside any help identifying what the ‘fuzzing’ I spotted in dark field could be. Also, what is the ‘wall’ I see around the edges of the creature?

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