Ikaite rotifer

Notholca ikaitophila

FAMILY Brachionidae

TAXONOMY

Notholca ikaitophila Sorensen and Kristensen, 2000, Ikka Fjord, Greenland.

I Seison nebaliae I Asplanchna priodonta I Notholca ikaitophila

OTHER COMMON NAMES None known.

PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS

Measures 0.00744-0.00925 in (189-235 pm). The species has a well-developed lorica, but the feet and toes are completely reduced. The lorica is rounded posteriorly and has six spines on the dorsal edge of the anterior opening. The dorsal plate is ornamented with a distinct longitudinal striation and a pair of lateral movable spines. Trophi belong to the malleate type, with thick rami and plate-shaped unci having several teeth. Notholca ikaitophila is distinguished from other closely related species by the dimensions of the lorica structures, the shape of the dorsal antennae, and details of the trophi.

DISTRIBUTION

Ikka Fjord, southwestern Greenland. HABITAT

The species lives in association with the unique tufa columns on the bottom of the Ikka Fjord. The columns are made up of the unique mineral ikaite (calcium carbonate hexahydrate), which gives rise to submarine springs. The mineral is dissolved in the brackish seep water but precipitates and forms columns up to 6 ft (20 m) high when it meets cold and calcium-rich marine water. Notholca ikaitophila lives in the brackish water inside these columns.

BEHAVIOR

Nothing is known.

FEEDING ECOLOGY AND DIET Diatoms and microalgae.

REPRODUCTIVE BIOLOGY

Obligate parthenogenetic or heterogamic. Males never have been recorded.

CONSERVATION STATUS Not listed by the IUCN.

SIGNIFICANCE TO HUMANS None known. ♦

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