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Notholca caudata
Phylum Rotifera
Class Monogononta
Order Ploima
Family Brachionidae
Ecology and Behavior
  • Possesses caudal processes (1).
  • Notholca caudata is the largest and rarest species of the genus Notholca (2).
Similar Species
    The taxonomy of Notholca spp. has been described as “hopelessly confused and chaotic”; there are over 37 Notholca species with confusion in the definition of each (1).
Geographic Distribution
    Notholca caudata occur in Sweden (3) and Russia (4).  Notholca spp. do not usually inhabit regions below 58° N latitude (5) although Northolca caudate occurs in the Straits of Mackinac of the North American Great Lakes; where they may be a glacial relict or ballast water invader (6).
Reported Habitats
    Notholca spp. are cold stenotherms, living only within a limited range of cold temperatures (3).  These rotifers are planktonic (3) but also may be littoral (4)(7)(8).  Notholca spp. thrive within a pH range of 6 to 8 (7).
Food and Feeding Behavior
    Notholca caudata eat phytoplankton such as Asterionella and Melosira (8).
Reproductive Habits
    Notholca eggs are carried for a relatively short time compared to other rotifers (3).  The net reproductive rate falls dramatically when temperatures rise above 10°C (6).
Seasonal Population Variations
    Notholca spp. make up a large portion of the winter population of rotifers (2).  They may play an important role seasonally in the cycling of nutrients (8).

(1) WALLACE, R. L. AND R. A. COLBURN.  1989.  Phylogenetic relationships within phylum Rotifera: orders and genus Notholca.  Hydrobiolgia.  186/187: 311-318.

(2) Great Lakes Water Life Photo Gallery; Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory; Great Lakes Sea Grant Extenstion Office; http://www.glerl.noaa.gov/seagrant/GLWL/Zooplankton/Rotifers/Pages/Brachionidae.html.

(3) PEJLER, B. AND B. BERZINS.  1989.  On choice of substrate and habitat in brachionid rotifers.  Hydrobiologia.  186/187: 137-143.

(4) TELESH, I.  1996.  Species composition of planktonic Rotifera, Cladocera and Copepoda in the littoral zone of Lake Ladoga.  Hydrobiologia.  322: 181-185.

(5) KUTIKOVA, L. A.  1998.  Remarks on the rotifer fauna of north and northwestern Russia.  Hydrobiologia.  387/388: 79-82.

(6) WALZ, N., T. GSCHLOESSL AND U. HARTMANN.  1989.  Temperature aspects of ecological bioenergetics in Brachionas angularis (Rotatoria).  Hydrobiologia.   186/187: 363-369.

(7) BERZINS, B. AND B. PEJLER.  1987.  Rotifer occurrence in relation to pH.  Hydrobiologia.  147: 107-116.

(8) EDMONDSON, W. T.  1946.  Factors in the dynamics of Rotifer populations.  Ecol. Monograph.  16: 357-372.