Eudorina elegans (Ehrenberg, 1832)

Most likely ID: n.a.


Synonym: n.a.


Sampling location: Simmelried


Phylogenetic tree: Eudorina elegans



  • colony ellipsoidal or spherical with a layers mucilaginous envelope
  • length 50–200 µm
  • colony consisting of 4–8–16–32–64 cells (in most cases 32)
  • cells arranges in 5 layers (4–8–8–8–4)
  • cells spherical, sub-spherical or pear-shaped with each 2 flagella of equal length
  • flagella passing the mucilaginous envelope through canals
  • each cell with 2 contractile vacuoles
  • one chloroplast, cup-shaped
  • one pyrenoid
  • one eyespot
Eudorina elegans

Eudorina elegans is a widespread volvococcal alga, which sometimes occurs in masses especially in my sampling site Simmelried. The spherical colonies with mostly 32 cells are easy to identify (s. figs. 1 and 2).


Eudorina elegans can reproduce asexually by vegetative division, but also by sexual reproduction, as there are male as well as female colonies. In the vegetative state the sexes cannot be distinguished. Only at stages of reproduction it can recognize which sex is present. In the male colonies clusters of sperm cells formed (s. figs. 3 and 4) and in the female colonies either immobile aplanospores or flagellated zoospores are formed after fertilization. When immobile aplanospores are formed, they begin to germinate and form new colonies by cell division (s. fig. 5).


Fig. 1: Eudorina elegans. d = 102 µm. A slightly squashed colony. Note the eyespots (ES) of the cells. ME = mucillaginous envelope. Obj. 40 X.


Fig. 2: Eudorina elegans. d = 84 µm. A slightly squashed second colony. Obj. 100 X.


Fig. 3: Eudorina elegans. The formation of clusters of sperm cells (SCS) in a male colony. MME = mucilaginous envelope of mother cell. Obj. 40 X.


Fig. 4: Eudorina elegans. d = The released clusters of sperm cells. Obj. 100 X.


Fig. 5: Eudorina elegans. Aplanospores (AS) and germing aplanospores (GAS) in a female colony. Obj. 40 X.