Enteromyxa paludosa
Enteromyxa paludosa

Enteromyxa paludosa Cienkowsky, 1885

Diagnosis: Amoeboid organism existing in a small (less than 20 µm) uninucleate form, or large (up to 1 mm) multinucleate form. The latter usually has one dimension limited to 40 µm. Outer hyaloplasm is hyaline, from which conical or thin pseudopodia arise. Body may be surrounded by mucilage. Cysts are formed, with large specimens breaking into small ectocysts elements within a number of endocysts may form.
Its taxonomic identity is uncertain.

Ecology: Freshwater. This rare amoeboid has been reported from England (Canter, 1966), Germany (Steffen Clauss, 2009, pers. comm.) Austria (Wolfgang Bettighofer, pers. comm.) and The Netherlands (Crailoo)

Remarks: The protozoan Enteromyxa paludosa Cienkowski, not recorded since its original description in 1885, was refound in the English Lake District by Hilga Canter (1966). She confirmed the general account of its life history described by Cienkowsky (1885) and made many new observations.
Enteromyxa is now known to be multinucleate, the nuclei being of a vesiculate type. In addition to the broken-down algal pigment spheres coloured bluish-green or green the body contains numerous contractile vacuoles and small granules. Very rarely non-contractile vacuoles are seen. Its food, threads of Oscillatoria, is captured by elongate processes produced from the external hyaloplasm. Once a process has made contact and become adherent to a thread, the process contracts and the thread is slowly drawn towards the body which it then enters by way of a large hyaline bulge. Once inside the animal disintegration of the alga is rapid.
The method of formation of the endocysts is described in detail by Canter (1966). The product of excystment from an endocyst is a small uninucleate amoeba-like organism, one from each endocyst.

Steffen Clauss published beautifull pictures on a German Forum. These pictures are published on this page. His remarks about this species are:
Im Herbst 2009 fand ich in meinem nun 5 Jährigen Tümpelprobeneimer an der Wandung (Lichtseite) zwischen Blaualgen eine grosse Anzahl folgender Amöbe. Teilweise korkenzieherrartig geformt und bis zu 1,5 mm gross schnürte sich diese in mehreren Teilen ein und enzystierte zu 2-Kernigen 15-25 µm grossen Zysten. Plattgedrückt waren mehrere 3-5 µm grosse Kerne mit Hof (Spiegelei) erkennbar. Hochgerechnet auf das gesamte Individium müsste es locker 500 Kerne beinhalten. Die Amöbe besitzt sehr viele Nahrungsvakuolen welche das gesamte Plasma ausfüllen und aufgrund der beobachteten Nahrung von Blaualgen (Oscillatoria sp.) überwiegend blaugrün sind. Die Plasmaströmung und Fortbewegung geschieht sehr langsam. Teils bilden sich feine fächerförmige Pseudopodien aus. Einige Exemplare, vor allem bei fehlenden Deckglasdruck, haben über den ganzen Zellkörper verteilt viele kurze spitze Pseudopodien.
Damals war nach ein paar Tagen, ausser Zysten von der Amöbe nicht mehr zu finden. Seit einer Woche ist sie wieder (mit den Blaualgen) aufgetaucht – ebenfalls in Massen!

Enteromyxa paludosa
Enteromyxa paludosa, about 200 µm – Photo: Steffen Clauss
Enteromyxa paludosa
Enteromyxa paludosa, about 1.5 mm – Photo: Steffen Clauss, Germany
Enteromyxa paludosa
Enteromyxa paludosa, nuclei – Photo: Steffen Clauss, Germany
Enteromyxa paludosa
Enteromyxa paludosa, starting encystment
Enteromyxa paludosa
Enteromyxa paludosa, cysts – Photo: Steffen Clauss, Germany
Enteromyxa paludosa
Enteromyxa paludosa, about 1.5 mm – Photo: Steffen Clauss, Germany
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