The Small World of Freshwater Gastrotrichs
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Chaetonotus (C. ) multispinosus

  • Order: CHAETONOTIDA Remane, 1925
    • Suborder: PAUCITUBULATINA d'Hondt, 1971
      • Family: CHAETONOTIDAE Gosse, 1864
        • Subfamily: CHAETONOTINAE Kisielewski, 1991
          • Genus: Chaetonotus Ehrenberg, 1830
            • Subgenus: Chaetonotus Ehrenberg, 1830
              • Species: multispinosus Grünspan, 1908
(after (Grünspan, 1908))
Length ( bottle-shaped ):
85 µm - 150 µm

31 µm - 43 µm

Width of the head ( five-lobed ):
28 µm - 32 µm

Width of the neck:
27 µm - 28 µm

Length of the furca:
14 µm - 16 µm

Adhessive tubes:
20% of furca

Pharyx ( cylindrical, barrel-shaped ):
31 µm - 39 µm

Diameter of the mouth ( round ):

Dorsal scales:
17-19 rows of 38-40 circular scales each with distal cutout and short and simple spines

Ventral scales:
2-3 pairs of elongated, keeled terminal plates; 5-7 rows of small, round keel scales

very europhilous species; standing and flowing waters; moor; common

Similar species:
well-defined due to stocky shape and bare toes

Bare toes; insufficiently described


The small and common gastrotrich Chaetonotus (Ch.) multispinosus is characterized by its short-spined, roundish scales, which are cut out at the posterior end:

Ch multispinosus: ventral

The short spines that give the species its name can be seen in cross-section. The short, club-shaped pharynx is very typical:

Ch multispinosus: cross section

The ventral intermediate field is covered with a few rows of roundish, keeled scales. The posterior end is formed by two larger, short spiny plates, which are bordered by two pairs of small, also short spiny keel scales:

Ch multispinosus: dorsal


(Grünspan, 1908)