Euplotes is a genus of ciliates in the subclass Euplotia. Species are widely distributed in marine and freshwater environments, as well as soil and moss. Most members of the genus are free-living, but two species have been recorded as commensal organisms in the digestive tracts of sea urchins.[1][2]

Euplotes patella - 160x (13215439193).jpg
Euplotes sp.
Scientific classification

Ehrenberg, 1830

Many, including:


Euplotes cells are inflexible, dorsoventrally flattened, and roughly ovoid, with a very large oral region (peristome) bordered on the left by a long "adoral zone of membranelles" (AZM). Like other spirotrich ciliates, Euplotes move and feed with the help of compound ciliary organelles called "cirri," made up of thick tufts of cilia sparsely distributed on the cell. Strong cirri on the ventral surface of the cell enable Euplotes to walk or crawl on submerged detritus and vegetation. All species of Euplotes have a group of stiff bristles (caudal cirri), which protrude from the posterior of the cell. The number of caudal cirri varies, even within a species, but it is most common for Euplotes to have 4 or 5.[3] The macronucleus is typically long and narrow, and approximately horseshoe-shaped, C-shaped, or resembling the number 3.[4][5]

History and ClassificationEdit

Euplotes patella, as depicted by C.G. Ehrenberg in 1838

Species of Euplotes were first recorded in 1773 by the Danish naturalist O.F. Müller, who placed them in the genus Trichoda.[6] In 1830,German microscopist C.G. Ehrenberg created the genus Euplotes.[7] By 1975, over 80 species and varieties had been described and assigned to Euplotes.[3]

In older classification schemes, Euplotes is usually placed among hypotrichs, either in the order Hypotrichida, the subclass Hypotrichia or the class Hypotrichea.[1] In current classification, Euplotes is placed apart from the other traditional hypotrichs, in the subclass Euplotia.[8][9]


  1. ^ a b Lynn, Denis (2008). The Ciliated Protozoa: Characterization, Classification, and Guide to the Literature (3 ed.). Springer Netherlands. pp. 374–5. ISBN 978-1-4020-8238-2.
  2. ^ Caspers, H. (1962). "Corliss, John O.: The Ciliated Protozoa: Characterization, Classification, and Guide to the Literature. With 22pl. Oxford–London–New York–Paris: Pergamon Press Ltd. 1961.310p. Intern. Series of Monographs on Pure and Applied Biology, Div. Zoology, Vol. 7. 80 – s". Internationale Revue der gesamten Hydrobiologie und Hydrographie. 47 (3): 172. doi:10.1002/iroh.19620470319. ISSN 1522-2632.
  3. ^ a b Curds, Colin R. (1975). "A guide to the species of the genus Euplotes (Hypotrichida, Ciliata)". Bull. Br. Mus. (Nat. Hist.) Zool. 28: 3.
  4. ^ Carey, Philip G. (1992). Marine Interstitial Ciliates. London: Chapman and Hall. p. 203. ISBN 0-412406101.
  5. ^ Curds, Colin R. (1983). British and Other Freshwater Ciliated Protozoa. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. p. 450.
  6. ^ Müller, Otto Frederik (1773). Vermivm terrestrium et fluviatilium, seu, Animalium infusoriorum, helminthicorum et testaceorum, non marinorum, succincta historia. et Lipsiae: apud Heineck et Faber.
  7. ^ Berger, Helmut (2001). "Catalogue of ciliate names 1. Hypotrichs". Paris-Lodron-Universität Salzburg.
  8. ^ Gao, Feng; Warren, Alan; Zhang, Qianqian; Gong, Jun; Miao, Miao; Sun, Ping; Xu, Dapeng; Huang, Jie; Yi, Zhenzhen; Song, Weibo (2016-04-29). "The All-Data-Based Evolutionary Hypothesis of Ciliated Protists with a Revised Classification of the Phylum Ciliophora (Eukaryota, Alveolata)". Scientific Reports. 6 (1): 24874. Bibcode:2016NatSR...624874G. doi:10.1038/srep24874. ISSN 2045-2322. PMC 4850378. PMID 27126745.
  9. ^ Adl, Sina M.; Bass, David; Lane, Christopher E.; Lukeš, Julius; Schoch, Conrad L.; Smirnov, Alexey; Agatha, Sabine; Berney, Cedric; Brown, Matthew W.; Burki, Fabien; Cárdenas, Paco (2019). "Revisions to the Classification, Nomenclature, and Diversity of Eukaryotes". Journal of Eukaryotic Microbiology. 66 (1): 4–119. doi:10.1111/jeu.12691. ISSN 1550-7408. PMC 6492006. PMID 30257078.
Drawing of Euplotes harpa, a marine species