The Small World of Freshwater Gastrotrichs
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Ichthydium (F. ) forficula

  • Order: CHAETONOTIDA Remane, 1925
    • Suborder: PAUCITUBULATINA d'Hondt, 1971
      • Family: CHAETONOTIDAE Gosse, 1864
        • Subfamily: CHAETONOTINAE Kisielewski, 1991
          • Genus: Ichthydium Ehrenberg, 1830
            • Subgenus: Furficulichthys Schwank, 1990
              • Species: forficula Remane, 1927
(after (Remane, 1927))
Length ( bottle ):
160 µm - 170 µm

28 µm - 32 µm

Width of the head ( five-lobed ):
22 µm - 25 µm

Width of the neck:
16 µm - 19 µm

Length of the furca:

Adhessive tubes (thin, pointed):
75% of furca

Pharyx ( Very narrow ):
35 µm - 38 µm

Diameter of the mouth ( around ):

Dorsal scales:
none, posterior setula on papilla

Ventral scales:

Bog, on mud

Similar species:
Ichthydium monolobum was included in this species

Very characteristic furca


The species I. (F.) forficula was united some time ago with the somewhat smaller species I. monolobum into a single species. A main characteristic of this species are the long, curved and thin glue tubes, which give the animals a “tweezer-like” appearance:

I. forficula: dorsal with pincer-like adhesive tubes

On the ventral side the animal carries two distinct terminal plates.

I. forficula: ventrale Terminalplatten

The lash bands are broken up into individual clumps of extremely long lashes.

I. forficula: Ciliate tuft

In the side view, you can see the enormous length of the locomotive eyelashes:

I. forficula: Side view

The posterior tactile hairs are on a papilla:

I. forficula: tactile hair on papilla


(Remane, 1927)