Dictyocysta

Marine Biology

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Dictyocysta is a zooplankton Foraminiferan species that feeds on algae and bacteria. Its lacy, vase-shaped outer shell partially encloses multiple cilia that sweep food into its mouth. Prof. Ernst Haeckel wrote of Dictyocysta, “The cone-shaped shell has almost the appearance of a papal tiara and is punctured with a trellis pattern of holes.” Despite their microscopic size, zooplankton like Dictyocysta are food for fish and an important component of the aquatic food web.

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