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September 2005
A friend (Barbara Balestra, nannoplankton specialist) sent to me a couple of pictures of a strange bug she finds in the plankton (water samples) from the North Pacific. Her material is just on a filter, as it comes from the ship's water pumps. She thought it could be a radiolarian...
However, I could not identify it, and could actually be almost anything (with the "ebridian" hypothesis being a definite possibility). Any idea what this could be ?!?!

Thanks and have fun,

Giuseppe Cortese 2005/09/20

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Hi, indeed it looks very much like an ebridian. Rather similar things are illustrated by Loeblich et al. 1968 (Index of Silicos and Ebridians, GSA Memoir 106) under the genus name Micromarsupium.

cheers, dave

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Dave Lazarus (2005/09/20)

'Mystery creature' November 2005

Hi there,

I am not a biologist, only a geochemist working on particulate organic material, and looking on my filters using SEM I came across this "mystey rad" that seems very similar to your picture. An added piece of info would be that it consists of celestite (SrSO4) not of silica. We confirmed this by doing x-ray analysis on it. It was collected in November 2003 from the NE Altantic at 50m depth a few hundred miles NE of the Azores. I had a look at acantharians, which apparently make skeletons from celestite but it looks nothing them. I wasn't able to confirm its ebridian nature either. It would be nice to confirm its identity.


Kostas Kiriakoulakis (2005/11/15)

mystery rad is the endoskeleton of a Dinoflagellate

endoskeleton of Achradina pulchra

Hi there,
on browsing for a radiolarian we found in our plankton samples (I suppose it to be Gazelletta hexanema) I stumbled over your "mystery rad" which is the endoskeleton of the dinoflagellate Achradina pulchra Lohmann 1903. Try a Google search or also see at http://www.marbot.gu.se/SSS/dinoflagellates/Achradina_pulchra.htm for some pics and more info.
I made a scan of drawings and micrographs for you from NIVAL, P. (1969) Nouvelles observations sur Achradina pulchra Lohmann, Dinoflagellé, Gymnosclerotidae (=Amphilotales) em Mediterranée. Protistologica, 5: 125-136.


Manfred Kaufmann (2006/02/08)

Achradina pulchra

micrograph of Achradina pulchra from Nival, 1969

sorry, forgot the second imge

Manfred Kaufmann (2006/02/08)

Achradina again

Sorry for that...
Now definitely something went wrong.
Here are the drawings.


Manfred Kaufmann (2006/02/08)

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