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Description of Anthophysa

Colourless chrysophyte, club-shaped cells organized into radiating colonies with up to 60 cells; colonies usually attached to a substrate via thick, dichotomously branched stalks, but colonies and cells can easily break free and swim freely in the water; young stalks extruded as a colourless, sticky substance; older stalks usually fairly transparent near the cells, but distally often becoming increasingly thickened and mineralized by deposits of calcium phosphate and compounds of iron and manganese; central part of the stalk occupied by one or more fine protoplasmic strands extending from posterior ends of the cells; individual cells indistinguishable from Spumella; naked, with two unequal flagella, a leucoplast with or without an eyespot, and 1-3 contractile vacuoles near the flagellar bases; cells divide longitudinally beginning at the anterior end, and colonies also divide, leading to bifurcating stalks; nuclear division sometimes not immediately followed by cell division resulting in binucleate cells that may form globular stomatocysts, in which the two nuclei may fuse; sexual reproduction by fusion of whole cells (hologamy) never observed; commonly occurring in freshwater, especially in temporary pools, bogs and small ponds. Type species: Anthophysa vegetans.

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