Biology

As well as the moving, feeding forms shown at the top of the page, Cercomonas clavideferens also forms cysts, which are resistant, spherical resting stages (bottom right of photo), which can survive long periods of dessication and other unfavourable conditions. When favourable conditions return they quickly emerge from the cysts to feed and reproduce.

Sometimes the cells join together and fuse to form multicellular masses called plasmodia (picture on left). These can be rounded in shape, with many cells forming a single mass, or the organisms can be joined by strands of cytoplasm and still be recognised as individual cells (picture on right).