Tiny Tiny Choanoflagellates- Observation of the Week, 10/5/21

Our Observation of the Week is this group of Salpingoeca protozoans on Hydrodictyon algae! Seen in Spain by @vicentefranch.

While most of Vicente Franch’s observations come from southeastern Spain, where he resides, the organisms you see above were found at the Guadalix reservoir in the Sierra de Guadarrama north of Madrid when he was on a family visit. 

The day before it had rained in the Sierra, so the water accumulated in the reservoir at a level a little higher than usual in summer. However, I could get to the edge of the water by wetting my boots.

In the sample I have found a very rich microdiversity. Among them was a precious network of the alga Hydrodictyon used by this group of Salpingoeca, a relatively common sessile coanozoan, as a substrate.

Also known as water nets, algae in the genus Hydrodictyon grow in colonies which often form hexagonal or pentagonal structures. It reproduces both sexually and asexually and can grow quickly, making it a nuisance in some areas. The Salpingoeca protozoans found on this colony are choanoflagellates, which are thought to be the closest unicellular relatives to animals. These prey on bacteria and other biological matter.

Vincente (above, in Valencia lagoon) says he’s always been interested in small animals, which 

awakened in me a certain fascination. My parents bought me a children's microscope with which I spent hours in my room gutting cockroaches and trying to find strange and wonderful things in the dirty waters of the puddles.

This led to him studying biology, but throughout his professional life he wasn't able to interact with nature as much as he wanted to. Now that he’s retired, he’s been able to reconnect with his old hobby, and tells me that “for several years I have been able to improve my observation equipment and spend more time on microscopic life.”

- Here’s a video showing aHydrodictyon colony at various focus settings.

- Go, flageullum, go!

- Let’s go back to April of 2016 and our Observation of the Week blog post featuring @sarka and a totally different algal colony.

Publicado por tiwane tiwane, 05 de outubro de 2021, 09:58 PM


Great way to spend retirement, Vicente! Thank you for sharing your window onto tiny life.

Publicado por janetwright cerca de 2 meses antes (Sinalizar)

Astonishing, congratulations for your work!

Publicado por nelson_wisnik cerca de 2 meses antes (Sinalizar)

Yay! So cool :) hope I can see some for myself one day.

Publicado por imlichentoday cerca de 2 meses antes (Sinalizar)

Nice to see a highlight on the micro-world! So much diversity and amazing organisms to discover in a drop of water! And water net is great since you can see it on a macro-scale as well!


Publicado por yerbasanta cerca de 2 meses antes (Sinalizar)

Grateful for your comments!

Publicado por vicentefranch cerca de 2 meses antes (Sinalizar)

Qué buen trabajo! Encantado de conocerte
Ahora ya sé a quin enviaré mis observaciones microscópicas

What a great job! Nice to meet you
Now I know to whom I will send my microscopic observations.

Publicado por rafael_carbonell cerca de 2 meses antes (Sinalizar)

Moltes gràcies Rafael,
Encantat d'ajudar sempre que pugui.

Publicado por vicentefranch cerca de 2 meses antes (Sinalizar)

I am fascinated by all such microscopic life, but I fear if I got a good microscope and camera rig, I would end up diving deep and forget to look at the macro world around me (birds, moths, etc.)! I admire your micro-focus.

Publicado por gcwarbler cerca de 2 meses antes (Sinalizar)

Congratulations, @vicentefranch, for the recognition! The micro world definitely requires more spotlight, and you do great demonstrating so much diversity among the microorganisms!!

Publicado por mythical_mold cerca de 2 meses antes (Sinalizar)

That's awesome! Can I ask what microscope you use @vicentefranch?

Publicado por joedillon cerca de 2 meses antes (Sinalizar)

Thanks to all of you.
@joedillon : An Olympus CX43 with camera Olympus EP50.

Publicado por vicentefranch cerca de 2 meses antes (Sinalizar)

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