Diversity and Distribution of Peritrich Ciliates on the Snail Physa acuta Draparnaud, 1805 (Gastropoda: Physidae) in a Eutrophic Lotic System

This is the first study to investigate the structure and distribution of epibiont peritrich ciliate communities on mollusk shells in a neotropical area. We can conclude that the high prevalence of epibionts recorded on Physa acuta is related to the high level of organic pollution in the studied lotic system; that the seven peritrich species found show aggregate distribution; and that ciliates mainly colonize the sutures and dorsal region of the shell, which confirms the hypothesis that the shell makes up a complex and heterogeneous environment for peritrich colonization. These new findings highlight the need for future studies on the epibiotic relationships between peritrich ciliates and aquatic metazoans to better understand the dispersion of peritrichs in lotic systems.

Snail Physa acuta Draparnaud, 1805

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Media contact: Noah Last: lastn@gate.sinica.edu.tw