Comprehensive Description

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Description of Mixotricha

Large devescovinids (300-500 µm) with four anterior flagella inserted below an anterior papilla. Three flagella are anteriorly directed, and one is recurrent and not adherent to the body. The small and elongated nucleus is anterior and appears connected to the basal bodies of the flagella and enclosed in the capitulum of the axostyle which develops in a slender axostylar trunk to the posterior of the cell. All the cell surface except the anterior cone and the posterior end is covered by regularly arranged bacteria and spirochetes, which were identified as cilia by the first observer. The cell glides, propelled by the undulations of the spirochetes. Electron microscopy has shown a hexagonal fibrillar network under the surface where bacteria and spirochetes are attached. In the cytoplasm about 500 dictyosomes are present, each supported by a parabasal fibre. The cytoplasm is filled with vacuoles containing wood which is phagocytosed at the posterior end. In spite of the incomplete description, this flagellate seems to belong to the Devescovinidae. One species, M. paradoxa, described in Mastotermes darwiniensis by Sutherland (1933), electron microscopy in Cleveland and Grimstone (1964). Type species: Mixotricha paradoxa, Sutherland, 1933.


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Source: BioPedia

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