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Cryptodifflugia Penard 1890

Ralf Meisterfeld and Edward Mitchell
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Containing group: Cryptodifflugiidae


Fig. 1: Pointed ectoplasmatic pseudopodia in Cryptodifflugia oviformis. © Ralf Meisterfeld

About twenty usually small species. Species with agglutinate tests can easily be mixed up with small Difflugia spp. of comparable size. The pointed ectoplasmatic pseudopodia are the differentiating character (Fig. 1).

Deflandre (1953) has placed species with circular cross-section in the genus Difflugiella and all compressed forms in Cryptodifflugia. This distinction is not made here. Following Page (1966) Difflugiella is considered to be a synonym of Cryptodifflugia.


The tests of Cryptodifflugia spp. have a circular or oval cross-section, either with adhering foreign particles (agglutinate) or a smooth surface.

Type species: Cryptodifflugia oviformis Penard, 1890. Here the test: smooth, clear, flask- or egg-shaped, circular in cross-section, aperture terminal. Shell wall in C. oviformis with two distinct layers, outer surface thin organic, inner layer thick from calcified material (Hedley et al., 1977).

Whether this is a common character of all Cryptodifflugia spp. has to be proven. The nucleus is always vesicular. Cyst: in test, by mucous plug.


Cryptodifflugia species live in all freshwater habitats, mosses and soil. Due to their  small size they feed mainly on bacteria and yeasts.

Other Names for Cryptodifflugia Penard 1890


Grospietsch, T. 1964. Die Gattungen Cryptodifflugia und Difflugiella (Rhizopoda, Testacea). Zool. Anz., 172:243-257.

Schönborn, W. 1965a. Studien über die Gattung Difflugiella CASH (Rhizopoda, Testacea). Limnologica, 3:315-328.

Page, F. C. 1966. Cryptodifflugia operculata n. sp. (Rhizopodea: Arcellinida, Cryptodifflugiidae) and the status of the genus Cryptodifflugia. Trans. Am. Microscop. Soc., 85:506-515.

Griffin, J. L. 1972. Movement, fine structure and fusion of pseudopods of an enclosed amoeba, Difflugiella sp. J. Cell Sci., 10:563-583.

Hedley, R. H., Ogden, C. G. & Mordan, N. J. 1977. Biology and fine structure of Cryptodifflugia oviformis (Rhizopodea: Protozoa). Bull. Br. Mus. Nat. Hist. Zool., 30:313-328.

Title Illustrations
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Scientific Name Cryptodifflugia oviformis
Specimen Condition Live Specimen
Identified By Ralf Meisterfeld
Copyright ©
Scientific Name Cryptodifflugia horrida
Location Birrici, Brasil
Specimen Condition Dead Specimen
Identified By Ralf Meisterfeld
Copyright ©
About This Page

This page is being developed as part of the Tree of Life Web Project Protist Diversity Workshop, co-sponsored by the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research (CIFAR) program in Integrated Microbial Biodiversity and the Tula Foundation.

Rheinisch-Westfälische Technische Hochschule Aachen, Germany

Edward Mitchell
University of Neuchâtel

Correspondence regarding this page should be directed to Ralf Meisterfeld at and Edward Mitchell at

All Rights Reserved.

Citing this page:

Meisterfeld, Ralf and Edward Mitchell. 2008. Cryptodifflugia Penard 1890. Version 02 September 2008 (under construction). http://tolweb.org/Cryptodifflugia/124544/2008.09.02 in The Tree of Life Web Project, http://tolweb.org/

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