"The relation of the ciliates to their hosts never seems to be that of injurious parasites. The ciliates simply avail themselves of well-aerated and protected environments in close proximity to a good protistan food supply. L. macfarlandi illustrates this mode of life. Inhabiting the respiratory tree of a large sea cucumber, it is assured of a constantly changing medium with a high content of oxygen and animal food particles. Its only real competitor for this habitat is another ciliate, tho holotrichous Boveria subcylindrica, which also occurs in large numbers. Although often more abundant than Licnophora, Boveria plays a secondary role, being utilized by Licnophora as one of its sources of food. Other sources of food include marine diatoms, bacteria and such cellular derivatives of the respiratory tree as sloughed-off epithelial cells and secretory mucous cells (with a strong affinity for methyl green and for the Feulgen reaction). No injury to the host seems to result from the presence of the ciliates. Other organisms found occasionally in the respiratory tree include small harpacticoid copepods which run over the inner surface of the wall, a marine rhabdocoel, a Chacnea-like holotrich, Uronychia sp. and other chance guests." (Balamuth 1941, 245)
- W Balamuth (1941) Studies on the organization of ciliate protozoa 1. Microscopic anatomy of Licnophora macfarlandi. Journal of Morphology 68: 241-277.
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