Biology and habitat

Bdelloid rotifer Adineta ricciae in culture.



Class Bdelloidea reproduces exclusively by thelytoky.

Bdelloid eggs are produced from oocytes by two mitotic divisions, without chromosome pairing and without reduction in chromosome number, each oocyte yielding one egg – an exact clone of the mother.

Measured values of the DNA content of bdelloid oocyte nuclei (Adineta sp.) is estimated at 180 Mbp  (Gladyshev et al., 2008).

Life expectancy

Bdelloids have a 25-40 day lifespan under laboratory conditions. One bdelloid female can produce up to 30 eggs during a lifespan.


A. ricciae was discovered in dry mud from Ryan’s billabong, Victoria, Australia (Hendrik Segers& Russell J. Shiel, 2005) and it’s one of only two species in the genus Adineta (Hudson & Gosse, 1886) that have distinct eyes.

The animal is exceptionally easy to culture in laboratory conditions, so the species is being used in diverse experimental studies utilising bdelloid rotifers as model organisms.