is actually a testate amoebae but is included here as is sometimes
appears to be a Gymnamoeba, and Trichosphaerium has some
similarity to certain amoebic groups. The testate amoebae are
classified as being a sub-class (Testacealobosia) within Class Lobosea (Sleigh,
1989). The amoeba Pontifex maximus
and Amoeba tentaculata are thought to be members of the genus Trichosphaerium
The genus was established by Schaudinn in 1899 published in a supplement
to an obscure journal (Schaudinn, 1899),
and contains organisms exclusively from marine environments. A
life cycle including schizonts and gamonts was proposed and evidence was
discovered in other species, T. platyxyrum (Angell,
1976). Trichosphaerium feeds
on bacteria, algae, Dunaliella salina, Euglena gracilis (Angell,
1976) and various seaweeds (Polne-Fuller,
1987). Although Schuster (Schuster,
1976) was not able to culture his strain of
Trichosphaerium axenically, this was accomplished with another
After multiple fission the rsulting amoebae are small (20mm dia) and
resemble other flabellate genera of amoebae such as Vannella, Platyamoba
or Paramoeba (all Family Thecamoebidae). Possible
relationship to Sappinia? Sappinia is apparently in the
Thecamoebidae family and is reported to have a sexual habit involving
cell fusion like that described for Trichospherium.
T. micrum (Angell,
T. platyxyrum (Angell,
T. sieboldi (Schaudinn,
If Page (Page, 1983)
is correct in placing Pontifex maximus in Trichospaerium,
then the size of T. maximus would make it likely that this is a
different species and so is included here.
platyxyrrum CCAP 1585/3. Polne-Fuller, 1988. Marine, Goleta
Beach Bay CA. USA
1585/2. Page, 1981. Marine, Sheringham, Norfolk, England.
sp. ATCC 40318 & 40319 Polne-Fuller, 1984 Marine, Hollister ranch,
Santa Barbara Co, CA USA
Angell, R.W. (1975). "Structure of Trichosphaerium
micrum sp. n." J. Protozool. 22(1):
Angell, R.W. (1976). "Observations on Trichosphaerium
platyxyrum sp. n." J. Protozool. 23(3):
Page, F.C. (1983). "Marine Gymnamoebae."
Inst.Terr.Ecol. NERC Cambridge, England.
Polne-Fuller, M. (). "A multinucleate
marine amoeba which digests seaweeds." Biosis 87:
Polne-Fuller, M. (1987). "A multinucleated
marine amoeba which digests seaweeds." J. Protozool. 34(2):
Schaeffer, A. (1926) "Taxonomy of the
amebas." Pap.Dept.Mar.Biol.Carnegie Institut. Wash. Vol
Schaudinn, F. (1899). "Untersuchungen uber
den generationswechsel von Trichosphaerium sieboldi. Schn." Abh.
Konigl. Preuss. Akad.Wiss., Berlin Suppl. 1-93.
Schuster, F.L. (1976). "Fine structure of
the schizont stage of the testate marine amoeba, Trichosphaerium
sp." J. Protozool. 23(1): 86-93.
Sheehan, R. & Banner, F.T. (1973). "Trichosphaerium
- an extraordinary testate rhizopod from coastal waters." Estuarine
& Coastal Mar.Sci. 1: 245-260
Sleigh, M (1989). "Protozoa and other
Protists." Edward Arnold, London.