world of amoeboid organisms



My workhorse, the Olympus BX51



I investigate my samples using an Olympus BX51 microscope, with Nomarsky DIC, phase contrast and fluorescense, equipped with several UPlanFl and UPlanApo objectives, and a Leitz Orthoplan microscope, equipped with several plan apochromatic objectives, standard Köhler illumination, phase contrast and Smith T DIC system.
The observed ma­terial is transferred to standard microscope slides and covered with a 24 x 32 cover slip.
I use very thin modified glass pipettes for isolating specimens. A glass tube is heated over a flame in the middle and then when the glass is soft I pull both ends slowly to create a very thin pipette. I use this directly to collect amoebae. Much patience is needed and usually some level of cursing before you can be successful…
I use a Leitz Diavert invert 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 a stereo microscope for isolating amoebae for staining, mounting and culturing. The Diavert is also an excellent instrument for observing culture dishes. For a quick scan of a sample I use a Bresser stereomicroscope.


Photomicrography and video

Photomicrography is performed with a digital Touptek camera on a large flatscreen. Pictures are improved by digital editing in ToupView (scale bars) and Photoshop, usually to increase contrast and detail and to decrease noise. Video is also captured with ToupView and reworked with Camtasia Studio.


Penard slide

Slide made by Eugene Penard of Euglypha brachiata, which he sent to Dr. A.A. de Groot. Collection Ferry Siemensma.
Recent posts


Genus Spiculophrys Zlatogursky, 2016 Diagnosis: Centrohelids lacking silica scales but with numerous thin, pointed organic (without any traces of silica) scales tapering towards acute apices. 18S

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Acanthocystis drakena

From Zlatogursky, 2016 Acanthocystis drakena Zlatogursky, 2016 Diagnosis: Cells are 21.1-30.5 µm (ca. 26.7) in diameter. Cell is covered with oval plate-scales having a margin

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Choanocystis symna

From Zlatogursky, 2014 Choanocystis symna Zlatogursky, 2014 Diagnosis: Cell body ca. 6.7 µm in diameter. Axopodia three–five times longer than a cell diameter. Plate-scales dumbbell-shaped

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Acanthocystis costata

From Zlatogursky, 2014 Acanthocystis costata Zlatogursky, 2014 Diagnosis: Cell body ca 9.5 µm in diameter. Axopodia 2–3 times longer than cell diameter. Length of spine-scales

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Left: ultra-structure of a kinetocyst of Raphidiophrys contractilis); right: two kinetocysts in an axopodium. Kinetocysts In centrohelid heliozoa, extrusomes are called kinetocysts, and are present

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Yogsothoth carteri

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