Ramate In Biology

Dissotrocha aculeata

FAMILY Philodinidae

TAXONOMY

Philodina aculeata Ehrenberg, 1832, Germany.

OTHER COMMON NAMES

None known.

PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS

Measures 0.0138-0.0197 in (350-500 pm). Color may vary from grayish to red or brown. Head has long rostrum and two eyespots. Dorsal side of the trunk has several characteristic large, thornlike spines. The foot has four telescopic retractable pseudo-segments and terminates in four toes. Trophi belong to the ramate type that is characteristic of all bdelloids. A fulcrum is lacking, and the manubria are thin bands that flank the lateral rims of the unci. The unci have numerous arrow-like teeth and are used to grind small food objects.

DISTRIBUTION

Cosmopolitan.

HABITAT

Lives in freshwater among plants and mosses.

BEHAVIOR

Nothing is known.

FEEDING ECOLOGY AND DIET

Bacteria and small algae.

REPRODUCTIVE BIOLOGY

Obligate parthenogenesis. Viviparous or ovoviviparous. Males do not exist. Juveniles are brooded inside their mother and hatch when fully developed. Their cells may increase slightly in size, but cell division never occurs after hatching.

CONSERVATION STATUS

Not listed by the IUCN.

SIGNIFICANCE TO HUMANS None known. ♦

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