Batillipes from Pag Island (Croatia): front part of body
with complete sensory equipment and those typical lobe formed Batillipes feet.
Well, as we have been showing the front part, why not
show the hind scenario as well?
Batillipes from Pag Island (Croatia): hind part without any tail appendix.
Note the two lateral lobes between the third and fourth pair of legs which are
of taxonomic importance.
A caudal appendix like the one of Batillipes mirus
is completely missing here, so one might be tempted to identify this tardigrade
as the species Batillipes acaudatus ("acaudatus" meaning without appendix).
But the tricky point is that the non-existence of a caudal appendix appears to be
only a weak taxonomic criterion: according to literature individuums without tail
can be found in other Batillipes populations as well (forming exceptions within their species).
In any case we should be aware of the fact that the visual appearance of the caudal
region alone might not suffice for a thorough species determination.
Batillipes from Pag Island: note the coarse (grainy) structure of the cuticula.
Batillipes from Pag Island. Detail view of the cuticula. Fine pores or dots (difficult to tell)?
Experienced microscopists know about the ambiguity of those tiny structures.
Any structural detail as small as a typical light wavelength (400 nm - 750 nm) can be deceptive.
Under those circumstances some of you might be willing to bet that a given structure
has knob type shape wheras others might clearly perceive cavities in the same situation.
Arguing often does't make sense in those scenarios. Each interpretation could be the correct
one. But as well both interpretations might be wrong. For example the structures in reality
could be much more complex, layered, simply unresolved - thus rendering treachery impressions
and wrong interpretations.
Batillipes from Pag Island.
Detail view of the cuticula. Raking light. Fine nobs?
Batillipes from Pag island:
the pharyngeal apparatus is shining through under the cuticula
thus providing a means to understand the dimensions.
Batillipes from Pag Island (Croatia):
head region with pharyngeal apparatus, mouth tube with root-like or fork-like endings
of the mouth tube, stomach with radial muscles, two stylets and fine stylet springs
one the left and right side of the mouth tube. Two globular structures reminding of eye spots.
© Text, images and video clips by
Martin Mach (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Water Bear web base is a licensed and revised version of
the German language monthly magazine
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