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Johannes Frenzel's illustrations, 1892
Johannes Frenzel's illustrations, 1892
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Monoblastozoa
Family: Salinellidae
Genus: Salinella
S. salve
Binomial name
Salinella salve

Salinella salve is a dubious species of very simple animal that may not exist, but which some have named as the sole member of the phylum Monoblastozoa. It was discovered in 1892 by Johannes Frenzel in the salt pans of Argentina and cultivated in a laboratory by him. This animal has not been found since and its real existence is considered as doubtful.[1][2]

More organized than Protozoa, but still very primitive multicellular organisms, they are characterised by their distinct anterior/posterior parts and being densely ciliated, especially around the "mouth" and "anus". They have only one layer of cells. They reproduce asexually by transverse fission of their bodies. Although sexual reproduction was suspected, no evidence exists of it.[3] Michael Schrödl from the Zoological State Collection in Munich is involved in a project to search for Salinella in Argentina.[4][5]

Monoblastozoa was granted the title of phylum after the recognition that Mesozoa was too diverse to be a phylum into itself.


  1. ^ Brusca, R. C.; Brusca, G. J. (2005). Invertebrados (2nd ed.). Madrid: McGraw-Hill-Interamericana. ISBN 978-0-87893-097-5.
  2. ^ Taylor, C., 2007. "Salinella - what the crap was it?" Catalogue of Organisms [1]
  3. ^ Frenzel, J., 1892. "Untersuchungen über die mikroskopische Fauna Argentiniens." Archiv für Naturgeschichte, 58: 66–96. Plate VII. (in German)
  4. ^ Dunning, H., 2012. "Gone Missing, circa 1892". The Scientist
  5. ^ Viering, K., 2012. "Jäger der verborgenen Art". Spektrum