This tiny protozoan, a member of the Order Protomonadina, family Bicosoecidae is one of the genus Salpingoeca. This collar flagellate and others like it have always interested me because of the vase-shaped lorica that they construct. At only 5 micrometers in diameter, their features are not well defined. Yet it is interesting to watch them draw bacteria into the “V” shaped collar positioned at the opening of the lorica. The fast wiping flagella is quite efficient at this but must be stopped by a flash to be seen.
I was observing this specimen when without any forewarning the upper portion of the vase seemed to be filling up with the cytoplasm in its base. By the time I got my camera operational, a new spherical copy of the creature had formed at the opening of the lorica. This is seen in the first image of the series. A short time later it is seen off to the side and then above, attached to the parent cell by a strand of material.
The fourth image is quite informative. As the newly created cell is leaving the parent cell, a fully formed collar is partially visible with the flagella. The creature is already equipped to begin feeding. At this point a thin connection, ruffly the thickness of the flagella, is still visible. What is not present in image four or five, is a lorica. When this will be constructed is unknown.
In the final image, the parent cell is back to feeding with one bacterium in its collar to the left of its central curved flagellum. The newborn is well on its way above.
Leitz DIAVERT microscope with 40x NPL achromat and Zernike phase contrast.
Nikon D800 with a Diagnostic Instruments 1X projection lens.
Modified Vivitar 283 flash.
Images made through a microscope. All subject types.