Portrait of adult form of the suctorian, Podophrya fixa
(MUELLER,1786) Ehrenberg,1833. The cell body of the adult form has a spherical cell body atop a slender, hollow, rigid stalk that attaches to the substrate by an adhesive disc (seen here). There are numerous retractile capitate tentacles distributed over the entire cell surface. The knobs at the ends of the tentacles are aggregates of specialized extrusomes called haptocysts. These fix prey (usually ciliates) the contents of which are then transported to the cell body through the tentacles. No lorica. The adult form is very similar in appearance to Prodiscophrya
but swarmer form of Podophrya
has only one contractile vacuole while that of Prodiscophrya
has two. The granular, spheroid macronucleus is central. The ciliated larval or swarmer form develops by budding. Podophrya
may form a unique transversely ringed stalked resting cyst. Found in sapropelic habitats. From organically enriched bottom sediment of freshwater pond near Boise, Idaho. DIC optics.