While Aeolosoma sp. are well known in artificial ecosystems, such as sludge digesters, very little knowledge from field samples is available. Aeolosoma sp. process large amounts of soil particles and create aerating burrows but their effects have not been quantified. This movie shows a field sample of Aeolosoma hemprichi feeding on microbial films which cover soil particles. The transparent nature of the worm makes ingestion, peristalsis, and egestion clearly visible. Oligochaetes are segmented worms with only a limited number of setae, or bristles, for providing purchase during locomotion. Aeolosoma sp. are small transparent oligochaetes decorated with spots that arise from oil droplets in epidermal cells (1). Their conspicuous spotted appearance makes them easy to identify in soil or fresh water field samples. The reddish brown spots of A. hemprichi are shown in this movie (2). A feature of this genus is the anterior segment, the prostomium, which is ciliated on the underside (3); the prostomium is clearly shown, though cilia are difficult to see. Aeolosoma sp. reproduce by fission or budding (6), where the anterior part ages but the posterior part does not (4), and they only rarely practice sexual reproduction.
Figure 1: Aeolosoma Ingestion (video)
Figure 2: Aeolosoma Egestion (video)
ASM Education, email@example.com