Clathrulina elegans (Cienkowsky, 1897)

Most likely ID: n.a.


Synonym: n.a.


Sampling location: Bussenried, Simmelried


Phylogenetic tree: Clathrulina elegans



  • body spherical in an organic test with polygonal pores
  • granulated axopodia are protruding through the pores
  • test spherical or oval shaped, usually on a long, hollow stalk
  • length of test 30–90 µm
  • protoplast fills not the test
  • solitary or in colonies
  • nucleus central with large nucleolus
  • one or more contractile vacuoles
Clathrulina elegans

I find Clathrulina elegans regularly, but not very often. The characteristic test with polygonal pores makes it easy to identify the species and not to confuse it. I found mostly solitary specimens on a stalk (s. fig. 3). The length of the stalk was very variable. However, the stalk was always hollow. The shape of the test is also variable. It can be spherical (s. fig. 1 a-b) or oval (s. fig. 2 a-b). The pores in the test are approximately polygonal with rounded corners. Under coverslip pressure the test breaks. It is therefore probably not purely organic. The axopodia, which protrude through the pores, are granulated and not very long (about 10–40 µm). Only rarely have I found colonies (s. fig. 4). These are formed when the biflagellated swarmer leave the test through the pores and attach themselves directly to the test of the mother cell to form a new stalk and test. When this process is repeated often, apparently branched colonies are formed.


Fig. 1 a-b: Clathrulina elegans. D = 48 µm (of test). Two focal planes of a specimen in a spherical test. In the protoplast two nuclei are visible. AX = axopodia. Obj. 100 X.


Fig. 2: Clathrulina elegans. L = 65 µm (of test). A second specimen in an oval shaped test. Obj. 100 X.


Fig. 3: Clathrulina elegans. L = 465 µm (of test and stalk). A solitary specimen on a 400 µm long, hollow stalk. Obj. 40 X.


Fig. 4: Clathrulina elegans. L = 1500 µm (of colony). A colony of 7 specimens. Each specimen is attached with them stalk on the test of an other specimen. In the tests sperical cysts are visible. Obj. 10 X.