"So, naturalists observe, a flea has smaller fleas that on him prey; and these have smaller still to bite ’em; and so proceed ad infinitum."
- Jonathan Swift

March 19, 2010

March 19 – Trichodina sp.

This is is an undescribed species of Trichodina sp. from the gills of Mugil cephalus in brackish waters around Brisbane, Australia. There are over 150 species in the genus Trichodina sp., making it one of the most species-rich parasite genera. They occur in fresh, brackish and salt water and are most prevalent when organic loads in the water are high. Al Dove did a good chunk of his doctoral thesis on trichodinids and he says, “Lets face it, they’re the prettiest parasites ever. I like this picture because it’s NOT the usual pretty silver nitrate denticle photo, and it shows off their “scrubbing bubbles” body shape, which gets lost when you dry them onto a slide. I also like that you can see bacterial rods adhering to the cell surface just near the cytostome, which faces away from the host, consistent with their commensal habits.”

Contributed by Al Dove.

1 comment:

  1. Hi- I like the scrubbing bubbles image! This entry made me think about which ones might be the prettiest parasites. Is there a consensus or does everyone have their favorite? Maybe, at the end of this year, there should be a contest based on all the entries on this site. Besides prettiest, categories could include most virulent, best transmission method, most misunderstood- it's an idea!