How do I kill Thee?   Let me count the Ways!   (# 11)   click here for full list

Zoophagus insidians, ZYGOMYCOTA:  Short branches from the hyphae of  Zoophagus are attractive to aquatic rotifers that attempt to feed on the branch tips.   These tips are 'adhesive' and the tip ofthe peg bonds to the inside of the rotifers oral cavity.    The branch tip starts to grow, penetrates the body cavity of the victim, and releases exracellular enzymes to digest it.  ZYGOMYCOTA.

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Loricate rotifer captured and colonized by the adhesive peg of Zoophagus

Zoophagus is fairly common in pond water where there are abundant water weeds and aquatic rotifers. The hyphae are nonseptate and produce short, slender laterals at intervals. These are trapping devices and are probably coated at their tip with a chemical lure attractive to rotifers. As rotifers attempt to suck (swallow?) the 'bait', the mouth of the rotifer bonds to the tip of the lateral branch. and the rotifer is held fast (lectin/carbohydrate bonding?).   Assimilative hyphae grow from the tip of the hyphal trap, penetrate the rotifer's body, and digest the contents. The adhesive peg is sometimes referred to as a 'sticky lollipop'.   The rotifer is suckered in!

Image copyright George Barron from MycoAlbum CD (contains this picture and a 1000 more)

Comment on MycoAlbum CD by CM  ' it opens up the intimate inner world of fungi that is usually locked away from the ordinary student '

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