, Volume 596, Issue 1, pp 197–201 | Cite as

Carnivory and active hunting by the planktonic testate amoeba Difflugia tuberspinifera

  • Bo-Ping Han
  • Tian Wang
  • Qiu-Qi Lin
  • Henri J. Dumont
Primary Research Paper


Difflugia tuberspinifera, a testate amoeba found in the open water plankton of Liuxi He and other south Chinese reservoirs during summer, is one of six or more species that occasionally live a pelagic life. Here, we suggest that its incentive to leave the bottom might be the abundance of food in the water column rather than temperature. This Difflugia (and perhaps the other pelagic species as well) is indeed an actively hunting carnivore that catches small rotifers and other prey in the same size range. In Liuxi He, it readily feeds on Collotheca cf. mutabilis, which it catches and consumes with remarkable agility: it first inspects the jelly tube that protects the prey, then moves to the bottom of it, perforates the jelly near the prey’s foot, and finally ingests the rotifer foot-first.


Zooplankton Lakes South China Pelagic Amoebae Difflugia Feeding Carnivory 



We are particularly grateful to Dr. Louis Beyens (Antwerp) for his continued help with literature sources. Additionally, discussions with Daniel Gilbert, Ralf Meisterfeld, and Jun Yang at the International Symposium on Testate Amoebae in Antwerp, September 2006, greatly improved our understanding of Testate taxonomy and ecology. Support from NSFC (No. 30670345) to BP Han is appreciated.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Bo-Ping Han
    • 1
  • Tian Wang
    • 1
  • Qiu-Qi Lin
    • 1
  • Henri J. Dumont
    • 2
  1. 1.Institute of HydrobiologyJinan UniversityGuangzhouChina
  2. 2.Animal EcologyGhent UniversityGhentBelgium

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