Found: OPHRYDIUM, a single cell Protozoan
Updated: Aug 27, 2020
August 19, 2020 — Zones 1 + 10
This “gem” of a protozoan stuck like a bunch of iridescent pearls on a native Water Marigold in Doloff Cove and then again on another day in So Cove, this time they were on a Bladderwort. What was really neat was the way the orbs reflected the sunlight and caught my eye with their shine.
Amy S. identified it as a single celled protozoan - a colonial animal species. The individual cells line up side by side in the “blob” and attach themselves to a jelly-like substance they secrete. They are symbiotic with microscopic Chorella algae which live inside the Ophrydium cells and give the blob its green color.
We found them in all sizes, tightly clustered and stuck to the different parts of the plants. The largest was about the size of a large pearl. They are symbiotic with the micro-algae Chlorella and live inside the colony thereby helping to produce a green tint to the orbs.