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Description of Oikomonas

Colourless, naked, single-celled flagellates with one visible flagellum; cells usually free-swimming, sometimes attached temporarily by a thread-like prolongation of posterior end of variable length; nucleus central or anterior; eyespot reported from one species (O. ocellata Scherffel 1911); contractile vacuoles 1-3; food vacuoles often conspicuous; feeding taking place both in free-swimming and attached state; stomatocysts unknown; some 20 species described. See Preisig et al. (1991); for 18S rRNA gene data, see Cavalier-Smith et al. (1996). Oikomonas is considered to be the colourless counterpart of Chromulina (q.v.). For synonymy of Heterochromulina Pascher 1992b, see Preisig et al. (1991). Despite many records of species of Oikomonas (especially of O. termo (O. F. MÄller 1773) Kent 1880-82) in literature these organisms are poorly known; cell ultrastructure has not yet been studied in any detail. Type species: Oikomonas mutabilis Kent 1880-82.

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