Jackson Estuarine Laboratory

Redefinition of the Genera Diophrys and Paradiophrys and Establishment of the Genus Diophryopsis N. G. (Ciliophora, Hypotrichida): Implication for the Species Problem


Species belonging to the genus Diophrys Dujardin, 1841, are easily recognized due to possession of the usual complement of approximately seven frontoventral cirri, five transverse cirri, two left marginal cirri, and three large caudal cirri. Separation of these species has been based upon differences in cell length and width, the number and arrangement of cilia in dorsal kinetics, the configuration of the adoral zone of oral polykinetids, the number and distribution of cirri within cirral groups, and the number and arrangement of macronuclei. Jankowski used some of these characteristics to divide the genus into two genera, Diophrys and Paradiophrys, with several subgenera [Jankowski, A. W. 1978. Systematic revision of the class Polyhymenophora (Spirotricha), morphology, systematics and evolution. Tezisy Dokl. Zool. Inst. Akad. Nauk SSSR , 197839‐40. (in Russian); Jankowski, A. W. 1979. Systematics and phylogeny of the order Hypotrichida Stein, 1859 (Protozoa, Ciliophora). Trudy. Zool. Inst. Akad. Nauk SSSR , 86 :48–85. (in Russian with English summary)]. Data obtained from light microscopic examination of stained (nigrosin‐butanol, Chatton‐Lwoff, and Protargol) cells in interphase or division supports and modifies the use of particular structural features of these ciliates for the purpose of taxonomic classification. The structural variability within and among populations of different species within the genera Diophrys (D. appendiculata, D. oligothrix , and D. scutum ) and Paradiophrys (P. irmgard and P. multinucleata ) is described. D. hystrix is redescribed as the type of the new genus Diophryopsis n. g. Comparative information on the cortical morphogenesis of division of selected species within each genus is reviewed. Two taxonomic classifications of these hypotrichs are discussed: 1) a listing of diagnoses and synonymies and 2) a binary key for identification of all species at the light microscope level. An alternative evolutionary explanation of variations among isolates is presented.

Publication Date


Journal Title

The Journal of Protozoology



Document Type