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Pseudonebela africana
Pseudonebela africana, pseudostomes – Tirol

 

Pseudonebela africana Gauthier-Lièvre, 1953

Diagnosis: Shell lageniform and circular in cross-section; dorsal region rounded or slightly oval, composed of organic secretion of an apparently smooth cement and agglutination of extraneous particles including diatoms and, more commonly, many rounded plates, and with many small irregular platelets juxtaposed in between the larger rounded plates, thus resembling a Nebela-species, hence the name Pseudonebela; it’s unclear whether the plates are obtained from the environment or produced by the amoeba; aperture very characteristic by an organic covering with 4-11 small inward curving lips which appear as ‘denticles’ under optical microscopy, creating a characteristic cross- or clover-shaped aperture; electron microscopy reveals that these ‘denticles’ are not minute plates as originally described (Gauthier-Lièvre, 1953), but rather are invaginations of the aperture’s edge. Nucleus single, large, with fragmented nucleolar material, concentrated in some irregularly shaped pieces of variable size.

Dimensions: 90-100 µm long, 50-60 µm wide, aperture 25-28 µm (Gauthier-Lièvre, 1953) and about 87 µm long, 46 µm broad and aperture 27 µm (Lahr and Gomes e Souza, 2011); 85-185 µm long, nucleus 29-35 µm (Siemensma and Opitz, 2014).

Ecology: Fresh water, shallow ponds with aquatic vegetation, also in swamps and Sphagnum-vegetation; reported from Africa (Burkina Faso and Angola (1953), South-America (five localities in Central and south-East Brazil, 2011), Florida (2012), Austria (2013, Angie Opitz, pers. comm.) and China (Siemensma, unpubl. 2015)

Remarks: Pseudonebela africana is considered to be a flagship species, a species that presents such characteristic morphologies that it cannot be confused with any other species. It was considered to be restricted in geographic distribution. As Lahr and Gomes e Souza pointed out, it is possible that the characteristic aperture of this species has been overlooked in studies across the globe, because detailed observation of the aperture is required to positively identify P. africana. It might be confused with other lageniform species as Nebela lageniformis and Difflugia bacillifera and Difflugia rubescens. Recently it has also been found in the Northern Hemisphere (Florida, USA and Austria, Europe). See Siemensma and Opitz, 2014.

Pseudonebela africana
All shells from the same population. a typical shape with dark pseudostome edge; b encysted; c resembles D. bacillifera
Pseudonebela africana
Nuclei
Pseudonebela africana
Pseudonebela africana
Nebela structure, detail of a shell and teeth
Pseudonebela africana
Original drawing, Gauthier-Lievre, 1953

 

Original description:

Thèque lagéniforme non comprimée dont l’aspect général est celui de la Nebela Americana Taranek. Panse largement arrondie ou ovoïde surmontée d’un col trapu généralement cylindrique, plus ou moins long, terminé par un pseudostome tronqué droit. Ce pseudostome est bordé d’un bourrelet chitininoïde épaissi débordant sur l’ouverture qu’il rétrécit assez fortement, il porte 3-5 petites dents formées chacune d’une minuscule plaquette triangulaire; l’ouverture apparait 3-5 lobée.
Sauf le bourrelet du pseudostome qui est plus ou moins jaunâtre et légèrement granuleux, la thèque est incolore et d’une extrême transparence. Le revêtement consiste généralement en plaquettes circulaires ou ovales, rarement juxtaposées, mais empiétant le plus souvent largement les unes sur les autres; la présence de plaquettes de renforcement plus petites est fréquente. Les plaquettes de recouvrement peuvent également être polygonales irrégulières, juxtaposes et unies par un ciment chitinoïde souvent dispose en ponts donnant un aspect ponctué au contour des plaquettes.

Dimensions: 90-100 X 50-60 µm; pseudostome 25-28 µm; hauteur du col 30 µm.
Haute-Volta, lac de Banfora, très commune dans la marge d’hélophytes. Aussi trouvé dans une récolte du Sénégal.

 

Pseudonebela africana
SEM photomicrograph Eckhard Voelcker
Pseudonebela africana
SEM photomicrograph Eckhard Voelcker
Pseudonebela africana
Pseudostome
Pseudonebela africana
Pseudonebela africana preying on Closterium
Pseudonebela africana
Pseudonebela africana
Hole in Closterium, made by Pseudonebela
From Hoogenraad and De Groot, 1940
Pseudonebela africana
Closterium with five holes made by Pseudonebela africana
Pseudonebela africana
Pseudonebela africana preying on an alga
Pseudonebela africana
The same cell as before
Pseudonebela africana
Shell 115 µm – from China
Pseudonebela africana
Pseudonebela africana – Minas Gerais, Brazil (Photomicrographs Maria B. Gomes e Souza)
Pseudonebela africana
Pseudonebela africana – Minas Gerais, Brazil (Photomicrographs Maria B. Gomes e Souza)
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