Morphological and Taxonomical Investigations on the Genus of Epidinium Crawley, 1923 (Protozoa: Ciliophora: Entodiniomorphida)


Abstract: Rumen contents obtained from 30 domesticated cattle (Bos taurus L.), slaughtered at abattoirs in the vicinity of Izmir, were surveyed for ciliates belonging to the genus of Epidinium. Results of this survey suggested that the ciliates in the genus should not be classified to the species level on the basis of caudal spination characteristics, as previously proposed (1). Populations intermediate in these characteristics were detected in Turkish cattle and analysis of the morphometrical data for all criteria did not indicate significant differences for establishing separate species. It appears that these features, which show continuous variation, are more appropriate for classification as formae. Therefore, the genus has been revised and a key proposed for identification (p. 31). The present study also reports for the first time, the presence of Epidinium caudatum f. diodonta n. comb., E. e. f. triodonta, E. e. f. tetrodonta and E. e. f. pentodonta in cattle.

Keywords: Rumen Ciliates, Epidinium ecaudatum, Bos taurus, Turkey

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