The Durian Flagellate

Today’s sample came from the Eco-Pond at the Singapore Botanic Gardens, and among the creatures darting about was a peculiar dark and barrel-shaped structure. It was moving so quickly that it took some time to track it down to a spot where it would stay still for long enough to observe and photograph.

Trachelomonas resting? Its flagellum is coiled up like a noodle in the upper right of this image.

Lo and behold it should appear to be like a miniature durian! The scientific name is Trachelomonas. It is an euglenid, and hence a relative of that ubiquitous textbook organism Euglena. Like Euglena it’s got a single thick flagellum which it uses for swimming, but it also has a lorica, or shell, which is decorated with those stubby spikes.

See more at the Other euglenids page.

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