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The Feeding Behavior of Didinium nasutum on an Atypical Prey Ciliate (Colpidium campylum)

Jacques Berger
Transactions of the American Microscopical Society
Vol. 98, No. 4 (Oct., 1979), pp. 487-494
Published by: Wiley on behalf of American Microscopical Society
DOI: 10.2307/3225898
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3225898
Page Count: 8
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The Feeding Behavior of Didinium nasutum on an Atypical Prey Ciliate (Colpidium campylum)
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Abstract

The search and handling times of Didinium nasutum fed various prey densities of Colpidium campylum were determined. Although mean handling times were not significantly different among five replicates, the mean search periods were. Neither parameter was correlated with prey density or each other. The frequency distribution of the search periods was lognormal, but that of handling time was normal. Didinia ingested colpidia proportionately faster than paramecia, but their search periods were not relatively slower despite the colpidia's smaller size. There was no increase in the expulsion vesicle's rate as is characteristic of didinia fed paramecia. Didinia become significantly smaller when fed solely on colpidia as compared to those fed paramecia. Didinia will ingest several colpidia in a single feeding encounter. These data are compared with those reported previously for didinia fed paramecia. When reared exclusively on colpidia, didinia can eventually be reimprinted, with great difficulty, to a paramecid diet, but such clones are usually inviable. These results are discussed in light of the phenomenon of dietary imprinting in predatory ciliates.

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