My master’s thesis focuses on a curious little protistan parasite: Ichthyophonus hoferi. The parasite is a mesomycetozoan.
Hurray to a scientific name that makes sense!
This lil’ parasite was once classified as a fungus, and it’s easy to see why. Ichthyophonus can take on many shapes, many of which resemble fungi. For example, sometimes Ichthyophonus can be seen surrounded by hyphae (usually a fungal characteristic):
Another major stage of Ichthyophonus is its schizont phase, which look pretty spore-like to many (although, in my non-fungus research focus, all spheres look spore-like to me 🤷♀️ )
Yup. Basically everything you see is Ichthyophonus in its glorious cell-stage diversity 😍.
Ichthyophonus is more than a taxonomic puzzle, it is also a disease-causing agent in over 80 different fish species (brown trout, herrings, halibuts, much more). Stay tuned…