Vorticella are bell shaped organisms that attach themselves to surfaces
using a stalk. They feed by sweeping their prey, moslty bacteria, into their mouths with their cilia. Though they are often
gregarious, living in clusters, vorticella are not colonial, unlike other members of the family Vorticellidae,
such as Carchesium which are sometimes incorrectly identified as vorticella. Each vorticella has its own seperate stalk except when it is free swimming or budding.
Budding is the method by which vorticella reproduce. They divide lengthwise and one daughter cell keeps the stalk while the other
becomes a free swimming telotroch. When the telotroch find a suitable location it fixes itself and grows a stalk thus becoming a
full fledged vorticella. If a vorticella finds its environment to be unfavorable, it can revert back to a telotroch and swim to a
The first video shows a vorticella in a dense cloud of bacteria. Next, there are serveral videos
of vorticella feeding 1 2
Here is a video of a vorticella converting to a telotroch. As the slide began to dry, the
enivronment became unfavorable and the vorticella all converted to telotrochs and began racing back and forth in what appears to
be a panic!
These videos were from my own hay infusion based on samples collected in Northern California, 95841.
I hope you enjoy my microscopic videos of