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SPEC12 Testate Amoebae

SPEC12 Testate Amoebae
Guide to the Identification of Soil Protozoa – Testate Amoebae
Author: K.J. Clarke
Published By: FBA in collaboration with NERC Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, Windermere. 2003
Format: Softcover, size 245 x 172 mm, 40 pages, with 15 black and white illustrations.
ISBN: 978-0900386-69-5

Testate amoebae are a group of free-living microscopic organisms that live in fresh and marine waters as well as in soil, leaf-litter and other places which are frequently drenched by water. The 92 species that are described in this guide also occur in freshwater environments, particularly in ponds and other habitats where there is little flow of water. The guide will be of interest to freshwater biologists and serves a useful introductory companion to two more formal keys that deal with ‘naked' amoebae found in fresh waters and soil, both by F.C. Page and published by/available from The Freshwater Biological Association:

An illustrated key to freshwater and soil amoebae, with notes on cultivation and ecology, FBA Scientific Publication No. 34, Ambleside, 1976, 155pp, ISBN 978-0-900386-26-8

A new key to freshwater and soil Gymnamoebae, with instructions for culture, CCAP and FBA, Ambleside, 1988, 122pp, ISBN 1 871105 02 1.

Testate amoebae are so-called because the animal lives inside a protective and durable shell or ‘test' composed of various materials, rather like the familar case-bearing caddis larvae (Trichoptera). The size, structure and shape of the test are characteristic of each species and form a relatively simple and rapid means of identifying the common species that are encounted in moist environments. After a short section dealing with general aspects of testate biology and ecology, each species is briefly described and illustrated by line-drawings, drawn from examining tests under light and electron microscopy.