No common name

Asplanchna priodonta

FAMILY Asplanchnidae

TAXONOMY

Asplanchna priodonta Gosse, 1850, Hyde Park, London.

OTHER COMMON NAMES None known.

PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS

Females measure 0.00984-0.0591 in (250-1,500 pm) and males 0.00787-0.0197 in (200-500 pm). The species is illoricate, and the shape varies from sacciform to elongate. Feet and toes are reduced. Trophi belong to the incudate type, which is characterized by very large, forceps-like rami and partly reduced manubria and unci. The species is distinguished by the shape of the germovitellarium combined with details of the trophi.

DISTRIBUTION Cosmopolitan.

HABITAT

The species is planktonic and lives in freshwater lakes and occasionally in brackish water.

BEHAVIOR

The species displays seasonal cyclomorphosis, which means that its body shape changes with the seasons, so that the sum mer form is much more elongate than the sacciform spring and autumn form.

FEEDING ECOLOGY AND DIET Algae, ciliates, and other rotifers.

REPRODUCTIVE BIOLOGY

The species is viviparous and has heterogamic reproduction. It can produce mictic and amictic females. In addition, it may produce a third type of female, called the amphoteric female, which is capable of generating both diploid eggs that hatch into parthenogenetic females and haploid eggs that yield dwarf male offspring.

CONSERVATION STATUS Not listed by the IUCN.

SIGNIFICANCE TO HUMANS None known. ♦

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