Floscularia ringens. Making "bricks" for tube.

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Charles Krebs
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Floscularia ringens. Making "bricks" for tube.

Post by Charles Krebs »



These rotifers make beautiful reddish-brown tubes for their "homes". (see http://www.photomacrography1.net/forum/ ... php?t=1330)

When I first saw them I wondered where the nearly perfect spherical "bricks" came from. After watching for a while I saw the answer. At the back of the head is a socket where each spherical "brick" is rolled from detritus that is collected as the rotifer feeds. In the top image you get an overview of the location of this socket, as you can see another brick nearing completion. The lower photo shows an even closer view. The "ball" is constantly rotated around quite rapidly whenever the cilia on the corona are in motion. (In these photos the motion has been frozen by the electronic flash illumination.) As more detritus is added, the ball grows in size. When completed it is added to the tube. The right panel in the lower photo shows a detailed close-up of part of the constructed tube.

Top photo taken with 40X objective, bottom two with 100X. Canon 10D. Brightfield illumination with electronic flash,

Wim van Egmond
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Post by Wim van Egmond »

A beautiful and very interesting series of images. I always thought that these rotifers made their tubes from excrements.

It is always worth while to look for behaviour like this.


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Post by micron »

Charlie your pictures never fail to amaze me, but this blew me away!!!

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Post by piotr »


Stunning pictures. Consistency of size and shape of these "bricks" is amazing. What does the rotifer use to keep the bricks together, some kind of mucus perhaps?

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Ken Ramos
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Post by Ken Ramos »

Your images never cease to amaze me Charile, especially when you do a series like this. They provide not only a learning experience as well but a great photographic display of the microcosom that captures our interests. Thanks :D
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Post by lacerta »

Charles, your photography is rivaled only by your astute powers of observation. Thanks for sharing, and hopefully sharpening my own abilities to see outside the box, or "beyond the little brick balls". What an incredible series of images!