Microworld

world of amoeboid organisms

Menu

Collecting amoebae

I collect my material from all kind of waters, but mainly from fresh water marshes and ditches in the central area of the Netherlands. This area has very different types of water, ranging from oligotrophic to eutrophic, from peat bogs to lakes, from streams to stagnant water. I have always some small glasses in my pocket, in case there is an opportunity to sample something. Usually I collect amoebae from the muddy surface of ponds and ditches, but when I see pieces of floating debris, I will always take something with me. These pieces can be very interesting.
My favorite tool for deeper water to collect amoebae is a jar fetched to a long thin rope. I throw the jar into the water, wait till it has reached the bottom and then pull a little to move the jar and to whirl some sediment into the jar. Then I pull the jar out of the water and transfer the sample into a clean glass. I label the glass with the name of the sample location and the date. I also make a photograph of every sample on location. My camera places the GPS-coordinates and time in the photo.
I use the jar-on-a-string method because the bottom of most ponds and lakes here are covered with a thick layer of decomposing organic material. Therefore I have usually no problems with sand grains in my samples, which can be extremely annoying in a wet mount. Sand can create several problems with microscope slides. When I collect material from water with a sandy bottom, usually covered with a thin layer of decomposing organic material, I try to avoid taking up the sand.

Siemensma
Siemensma
Very handy for shallow water, an extendable stick with jar

At home I scan the samples within 24 hours, to see if they are worth further studying. Promising samples are left at room temperature, avoiding exposure to direct sun­light. Usually I leave about three centimeters of water above the sediment. Depending upon the nutrients and associated microbial succession, samples can stand for two days or for months.

In springtime, due to algae activity, pieces of bottom material gets floating. This material can be very rich in all kinds of amoebae, e.g. large Chaos amoebae. I get this material with a jar fetched to a long stick.

Waterplants and wet mosses are squeezed by hand, letting the water pour into a glass. Afterwards I filter these samples to remove larger particles as moss leaves. Dry mosses are collected in a plastic bag. At home, I put them in a large dish and add rain water. Then I stir and squeeze, remove the plants, let it settle and collect the residue in a smaller glass.

I use an inverted microscope for searching and isolating large shelled amoebae which may crash easily under a cover slip in a normal wet mount. After isolating the shell, I cover it with a slip, supported by some pieces of a broken cover slip. I also use an inverted microscope to isolate amoebae for staining, mounting and culturing.

Recent posts

Zivkovicia compressoidea

Z. compressoidea, a-b after Chardez, 1958; c after Jung, 1942 Zivkovicia compressoidea  (Jung, 1942) new.comb. Basionym: Pontigulasia compressoidea Jung, 1942 Diagnosis: Shell ovoid and compressed,

Read More »

Zivkovicia flexa

Z. flexa, from Cash and Hopkinson, 1909 Zivkovicia flexa  (Cash and Hopkinson, 1909) Ogden, 1983 Basionym: Pontigulasia compressa var. flexa  Cash and Hopkinson, 1909 Diagnosis:

Read More »

Lagenodifflugia epiouxi

L. epiouxi, after Chardez, 1984 3 Lagenodifflugia epiouxi (Chardez, 1983) new comb. Basionym: Pontigulasia epiouxi Chardez, 1983 Diagnosis: Shell elongate, circular in cross-section or very

Read More »

Centropyxis lapponica

Centropyxis lapponica, after Grospietsch, 1954 Centropyxis lapponica  Grospietsch, 1954 Diagnosis: Shell nearly circular in circumference, without spines. Aperture clear square with rounded corners. Shell viewed

Read More »

Chaos spec. 6

Chaos spec., Crailoo, 2021 Chaos spec. This specimen was found in a samples from Crailoo, Netherlands. It was remarkable because of the absence of crystals.

Read More »

Bullinularia maxima

Bullinularia maxima – from Bobrov and Mazei, 2020 Bullinularia maxima Bobrov et Mazei, 2020 Diagnosis: Shell brown, opaque, elliptical in ventral view; ventral surface is

Read More »

Bullinularia macroporum

Bullinularia macroporum – from Bobrov and Mazei, 2020 Bullinularia macroporum Bobrov et Mazei, 2020 Diagnosis: Shell yellow-brownish, transparent, circular in ventral view; ventral surface is

Read More »

Nebela golemanskyi

N. golemanskyi, after Todorov, 2010 Nebela golemanskyi Todorov, 2010 Diagnosis: Shell large, colourless and pyriform, with a distinct short neck about one fourth of the

Read More »

Nebela nebeloides

N. nebeloides, after Gauthier-Lièvre and Thomas, 1958 Nebela nebeloides (Gauthier-Lièvre and Thomas, 1958) Todorov et al., 2010 Basionym: Difflugia nebeloides Gauthier-Lièvre and Thomas, 1958 Diagnosis:

Read More »