The Small World of Freshwater Gastrotrichs
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Chaetonotus (H. ) murrayi

  • Order: CHAETONOTIDA Remane, 1925
    • Suborder: PAUCITUBULATINA d'Hondt, 1971
      • Family: CHAETONOTIDAE Gosse, 1864
        • Subfamily: CHAETONOTINAE Kisielewski, 1991
          • Genus: Chaetonotus Ehrenberg, 1830
            • Subgenus: Hystricochaetonotus
              • Species: murrayi Remane, 1928
(after (Kisielewski, 1981))
Length ( bottle-shaped ):
159 µm - 160 µm


Width of the head ( five-lobed ):


Length of the furca:
20 µm

Adhessive tubes:
50% of furca

Pharyx ( cylindrical, terminal swollen ):
44 µm

Diameter of the mouth ( round ):
6 µm

Ventral scales:
2 long, thin terminal plates with short spines; 7-8 rows of small keel scales (1µm - 3µm)

Moor, bank moss

Toes naked; rigidly protruding spines are very typical


The very rare gastrotrich Chaetonotus (H.) murrayi is only known from two localities (in Poland and near Berlin). The strong and quite long two-pointed spines protrude in a spear shape and give the animal a very defensive appearance.

Ch. murrayi: cross section

This is particularly noticeable when focusing on the spines on the back:

Ch. murrayi: dorsal

The approx. 20µm long spines have a lateral secondary spine near the main spine:

Ch. murrayi: focus on the spine tips

The focus on the scales shows the typical three-lobed scale shape of this subgenus. In contrast to the findings in the literature, the entire head of the animals is also covered with long spines:

Ch. murrayi: dorsal scaling of the head / neck area

The spination is also clearly pronounced at the posterior end. Unlike many members of the subgenus Hystrocochaetonotus this species lacks the unspined dorsal keel plates:

Ch. murrayi: dorsal scaling of the hind end

The ventral intermediate field bears 6 - 7 rows of small keel scales and is terminated by two spiny terminal plates.

Ch. murray: Scales of the ventral intermediate field


(Remane, 1929)
(Kisielewski, 1981)