Volvox [L.] Ehrenberg   

Kingdom: Plantae
Phylum: Chlorophyta – green algae
Class: Chlorophyceae
Order: Volvocales

British distribution (genus): Widespread, freshwater.
World distribution (genus): Throughout most of the world.

A colonial, motile, green alga, in which several hundred to several thousand biflagellated cells are embedded in mucilage in a hollow sphere, the entire colonies often more than a millimetre in diameter and easily visible to the naked eye. The cells are usually connected by protoplasmic strands.

Mostly in eutrophic waters, in plankton and sometimes forming dense blooms colouring the water green.

Photograph of material in culture, 1998, species unnamed.

A useful summary of the genus is given by Bold, H.C., & Wynne, M.J., (1985), Introduction to the algae: structure and reproduction (ed. 2), Prentice Hall, New Jersey.

© A.J. Silverside
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