Field of Science

Name That Bug # 2

The first installment of "Name That Bug" seems to have passed rather smoothly, so I think it's time for another. Bit harder this time (maybe), but because I'm a nice guy I'll give you part of the original figure caption as a clue of sorts.

Composite drawings based on silver nitrate and protargol impregnation.

Update: Solution now available here. Image from Kozloff (1992).


  1. A metazoan!

    Oh, do we need to be more specific? I'm on it then... =P

  2. Wait a sec, just noticed scalebar... this is getting interesting!

  3. Could it be something like Meloidogyne (tiny nematode)?

    I've no idea how silver nitrate looks/what it does in multicellular contexts though...

    Doesn't really look like Haplozoon... ("Unikont" or bikont, that is the least I'm pretty sure it's a eukaryote!)

  4. Not Meloidogyne, definitely not Haplozoon (which doesn't have true cell divisions).

  5. Is it at least a parasite of sorts?

  6. It is indeed a parasite of some kind.

  7. Am I at least not spending time in vain trying to key out nematodes on 4h of sleep?

    Also, the intelligent designer must fucking HATE taxonomists. Srsly. That's why he, in his infinite wisdom, created the nematodes...

    They all, with barely any exceptions, seem to look like...tiny non-descript worms. Holy shit. Wow. (protists are waaaay easier to key out. True story.)

    Would you happen to have a micrograph of this thing on hand?

  8. Looks like a parasitic algae. It must be a rhodophyte if that's a tetraspore on the lower left side. We have several algae in Hawaii that look like that under a microscope (have a cortex with 4-8 large cells surrounding the medulla).

  9. My first thought was 'rhodophyte' but the thing at 15 confused me, and then I began questioning whether or not silver nitrate emphasised cell outlines or some specific type of tissue or hell-knows what... (I've only seen its effects in unicellular organisms)

    So much for the nematode idea. Anyway, I really shouldn't be doing this on 4h of sleep, at 3am...

  10. Ah, it's good to be evil. A few more clues:

    (1) It's an animal (so alga is out).

    (2) The silver nitrate treatment is to show cell boundaries.

    (3) The protargol treatment shows kinetosomes. If you look very closely, you'll see that a posterior ring of cilia would have encircled each tier of cells.

    I do have some light micrographs, but only as a photocopy (so by the time I scan them into a computer, they'll be pretty poor). The paper this comes from is not yet available online, I'm afraid.

  11. Not related to the picture but this is the awesomest worm 'face' I've ever seen:

    There needs to be a polychaete pageant sometime...

    And holy shit the intelligent designer was definitely on acid:

    I shall come upon a small worm eventually (maybe)...

  12. hmmmm, toughie.
    I thought nematode at first, then hydroid tentacle, except then I noticed the whole animal is shown. That's a pretty simple little critter and I'm going to guess a myxozoan (which I believe are degenerate cnidarians).

  13. An Orthonectid?
    5th row =D

  14. So basically, a ciliate multicellular apicomplexan? =P

    ok, I'll stop abusing my first language privileges about now =P

    (it's very nice that where I come from, people seem to actually be very interested in various obscure small creature; less biomed kinda frees up researchers to pursue real science... >_>)

  15. An Orthonectid?

    Anyone care to be more specific? :)

  16. Oh, my VERY last comment didn't go through, I even found a paper with a similar looking thing >.< (and now I'm at another computer)


  17. Ciliocincta would be my choice if I was going to pick something as close as possible to being right without actually being right.

  18. I would look further but right now I'm being driven insane by my lack of access to most orthonectid literature! Zoology seems to be overflowing with defunct obscure journals nobody really bothers providing subscriptions for...

    Grrr. needs to get hacked and defaced ASAP, srsly... fucking HATE that page! It's the symbol for "O HAI, you found exactly what you're looking for but we're not actually gonna let you look at it. LULz. Sucks to be you! =P" [/rant]

  19. * Rhopaluridae
    o Ciliocincta +
    o Intoshia +
    o Rhopalura +
    o Stoecharthrum + (
    So no Ciliocincta. Definitely not Rhopalura. Doesn't seem to be Intoshia...

    Stoecharthrum? I literally cannot access a SINGLE image of that thing. Anywhere. On the entire internet. But I'll go ahead and guess that one.


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