• Limnetic;
  • morphospecies;
  • ontogenesis;
  • Sporadotrichida


The live morphology, infraciliature, and morphogenesis of a new oxytrichid ciliate, Notohymena apoaustralis n. sp. collected from a freshwater pond in Qingdao (Tsingtao), China, were studied in vivo and after protargol impregnation. Notohymena apoaustralis n. sp. is characterized as follows: undulating membranes in Notohymena-pattern; cortical granules yellow-green, grouped around the marginal cirri and dorsal bristles, and in short irregular rows elsewhere in the cell; single contractile vacuole positioned at anterior 1/3 of the body length; two macronuclear nodules and one micronucleus; about 39 adoral membranelles; 18 frontoventral transverse cirri in typical Oxytricha-pattern; one right and one left marginal row, almost confluent posteriorly; dorsal ciliature in typical Oxytricha-pattern; 8–10 caudal cirri arranged in three rows, one each at the posterior end of dorsal kineties 1, 2, and 4, indistinguishable from marginal cirri in life. The morphogenetic process in N. apoaustralis n. sp. is consistent with that of the type species, Notohymena rubescens Blatterer and Foissner, 1988. Phylogenetic analyses based on small subunit rDNA sequence data suggest a sister relationship between N. apoaustralis n. sp. and Paraurostyla weissei, which cluster in a clade with Rubrioxytricha ferruginea.