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20090315 1800 Coleps.jpg
Scientific classification
Domain: Eukarya
(unranked): Sar
Superphylum: Alveolata
Phylum: Ciliophora
Class: Prostomatea
Genus: Coleps

Coleps is a genus of ciliated Prostomatea with barrel-shaped bodies.[1] They can grow up to 250 micrometers in length, but are usually under 100 micrometers in their longest axis.[1] Coleps can be taxonomically distinguished by the ornamentation of their ectoplasmic calcium carbonate plates.[1]

Predatory Manner[edit]

Coleps feeds on bacteria, algae, flagellates, living and dead ciliates, animal and plant tissues.[2] Coleps uses toxicysts, poison it carries to capture its prey from its oral area. It extrudes tube-like structures to force toxicysts into its prey and wait until its prey becomes paralyzed. These toxicysts, however, takes about 5-10 minutes to be effective on the prey of the Coleps and it separates itself from the prey during this time.[2] If there are numerous Coleps hunting for the same prey, some Colpes will cling to its prey until the toxicysts become effective and fragment the prey, consuming only few parts.[2]


  1. ^ a b c Carey, Philip G. (1992). Marine Interstitial Ciliates : An Illustrated Key. London ; New York: Chapman Hall. pp. 44–47. ISBN 0-412-40610-1. 
  2. ^ a b c Buonanno, Federico; Anesi, Andrea; Guella, Graziano (January 2014). "Chemical Offense by Means of Toxicysts in the Freshwater Ciliate, Coleps hirtus". Eukaryotic Microbiology. doi:10.1111/jeu.12106. 

Further Reading[edit]

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