Two photomicrographs of the tintinnid ciliate Dictyocysta mitra. The microscopic planktonic animal (about 100 microns long) was collected in the Bay of Villefranche in September 2004, preserved with gluteraldehyde and examined with an inverted microscope equipped with epifluoresence and a digital camera.
The left view using transmitted light shows the ornate 'lorica' or shell which contains the actual cell of the tintinnid. The right view shows the same cell viewed using ultraviolet light. Light emitted under UV excitation shows the nucleus, and food items the tintinnid had recently eaten: pigment-containing bacteria (Synechococcus) and an algal cell.