Return to main Mastigophora page

Volvox are colonial flagellates and a very popular organism for classroom observations.  The colony is large, measuring from 100-6000 microns across.

The colony is comprised of many single, bi-flagellated cells connected together by protoplasmic strands.  It forms a hollow, green sphere.  Individual cells have a red eyespot and, with chloroplasts, can make food from sunlight.  Daughter colonies grow within this main colony and eventually break free and develop as a parent colony. 

Small animals like rotifers prey on the Volvox.

The cells are vegetative (i.e. they do not reproduce) except for a few near the back, which develop into new colonies.  Eventually the parent bursts and the daughter colonies evert.  Sexual reproduction is oogamous - one gender produces small motile gametes and the other non-motile gametes. 

Volvox is found in ponds and ditches, and even in shallow rain puddles. 
Volvox are readily available from science supply companies.

home forums links

Copyright 2015, Microbus, All rights reserved