And the answer is: Austromesocypris

Looks like peteryeeles from ptygmatics takes honours for this 2nd Electron Raster Challenge, or at least I agree with the first half of his rather broad hypothesis: Austromesocypris. Also, Koen Martens took a break during his most recent field trip to Australia to view the image and agrees (but points out dissection would be needed to determine the species). If you want to learn more about these fascinating terrestrial ostracods, then I highly recommend the 2004 paper by Martens and his colleagues, a wonderful combination of taxonomy, phylogenetic analysis, and zoogeography:

Koen Martens, Patrick De Deckker, Giampaolo Rossetti. 2004. On a new terrestrial genus and species of Scottiinae (Crustacea, Ostracoda) from Australia, with a discussion on the phylogeny and the zoogeography of the subfamily. Zoologischer Anzeiger 243: 21–36.

As for the blobs that have everyone stumped, you will have to take my word for it – rotifers – or at least that is what a few that I slided from a companion Austromesocypris turned out to be. The preparation for SEM was not very kind to them, but I thought they would make a nice link to the first Challenge and its spiny-headed rotifer gone monster. During the rainy season the forest floor is as wet as my garden in this torrential Alberta summer, which is extremely wet, so the rotifers may be commensals taking advantage of a mobile feeding platform. However, since this ostracod crawled out of a sample drying on a Berlese funnel, perhaps rotifers also engage in phoresy.

I know I have a few more Greyscale images of Austromesocypris somewhere on a cd, but since I can’t find them, I’ll just have to end this post with a tiny mite first described by the great A.D. Michael 125 years ago:

A mite found wandering the Meanook Biological Research Station in Alberta

One Response to “And the answer is: Austromesocypris”

  1. Adrian Thysse Says:

    Well, that will teach me to get my ID clues from Wikipedia…

    Love the Q.q image above. I was just imagining how much pleasure an image like that would have given A.D. Michael if he could have seen it 125 years ago!

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