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 This chapter, in large measure, is independent of 
the others. Here, we diagnose or characterize in 
a succinct manner, all suprageneric taxa assign-
able to the Phylum Ciliophora. In each charac-
terization, we have highlighted text in bold that 
we believe refers to synapomorphies or shared 
derived traits for these taxa. These characteriza-
tions are revisions of those provided in Corliss 
(1979), Lynn and Small (2002), de Puytorac and 
collaborators (1994a), and other references subse-
quent to these publications. Kahl’s (1930–1935) 
great series has invaluable species descriptions, 
but omitted entirely certain major higher groups, 
and there is no comparison between the size of 
the total assemblage then and now. All genera 
are listed, supplying author and date. Synonyms 
are occasionally indicated where genera are con-
sidered problematic, and homonyms are noted. 
We have also indicated those genera designated 
as nomen nudum by Aescht (2001) as these 
highlight generic concepts for which additional 
research may confirm the conclusions of the 
original describer. Nevertheless, our coverage 
does not go to the nomenclatural and taxonomic 
depth of Aescht, whose scholarly work should be 
consulted for a comprehensive treatment of the 
literature in relation to genera published up to 13 
March 2000. Nor do we provide diagnoses and 
characterizations of genera or subgenera, many of 
which can be found in the second volume of the 
Traité edited by de Puytorac and Collaborators 
(1994a), Jankowski (2007) and in other special-
ist works: the chapters of the Traité volume have 
been separately cited in the previous chapters 
devoted to treatment of the classes. We have 
included newly described genera published since 
Aescht (2001) and Berger (1999, 2001), and have 
indicated these genera by marking them with an 
asterisk ( * ). 
 Details, discussions of controversial matters, 
revelation of the rationale behind the new classi-
fication, evolutionary interrelationships, definition 
of terminology employed, and rich citation of per-
tinent literature sources are still to be found only in 
the preceding chapters. 
 17.1 Style and Format 
 The classes are arranged, in supposed phylogenetic 
order, based on the data provided by molecular 
phylogenetic analyses and ultrastructural stud-
ies ( see Chapter 16 ). However, other taxa are 
presented alphabetically, each name followed by 
its author(s) and date of first valid description. 
Throughout, we have generally followed Aescht 
(2001) as the nomenclatural authority on genera. 
Remarks and comments are kept to a minimum but 
are included when considered indispensable. 
 Characterizations of taxa are as complete 
as possible at the levels of phylum, subphy-
lum, class, and family. Other taxa are provided 
with a minimum characterization. Diagnostic 
or shared-derived characters for each taxon are 
highlighted in bold typeface. Whenever refer-
ence is made to size, the following criteria 
were used: small means < 80 µm in body length ; 
medium means 80–200 µm in body length ; and 
 Chapter 17 
 The Ciliate Taxa Including 
Families and Genera 
340 17. The Ciliate Taxa Including Families and Genera
large means > 200 µm in body length . Taxa are 
considered “ free-swimming ” if they are typically 
not attached to a substrate by a stalk or lorica 
or some other attachment organelle . In relation 
to life history, we make the broad distinction 
between “ free-living ” (i.e., NOT associated with 
other organisms) and symbiotic . We use the fol-
lowing classification of symbioses: commensal-
ism – the symbiont benefits but the host does 
not; mutualism – both symbiont and host benefit; 
and parasitism – the symbiont benefits and the 
host is obviously harmed. Ciliates have often 
been called parasitic , but they are most often 
 commensalistic . In the characterizations of fami-
lies, it is common that a general feature might 
be followed by “(?)” (e.g., feeding (?) ). This is 
meant to indicate that we have not been able to 
discover information about that character from 
the literature. We would be grateful to receive 
correspondence that would remove these areas of 
ignorance, either through personal observations 
by the correspondent or direction to the literature 
on the group. 
 We have reserved the use of the category incertae
sedis for families and genera that seem to demand 
restudy to determine their appropriate assignment 
in our overall scheme. 
 17.2 Nomenclatural Notes, 
Abbreviations, and Figure 
 Names of all authors of a taxonomic name are 
written out in full, even when the authorship is 
multiple, with a single exception. Whenever “de 
Puytorac et al., 1974” appears after a name, it is to 
be understood to stand for the following complete 
list of co-authors: de Puytorac, Batisse, Bohatier, 
Corliss, Deroux, Didier, Dragesco, Fryd-Versavel, 
Grain, Grolière, Hovasse, Iftode, Laval, Roque, 
Savoie, and Tuffrau. 
 Abbreviations ( not italicized if directly follow-
ing a generic name) include: hom. = homonym; 
n. n . = nomen novum ; non = not; p.p . = pro parte ; 
s.l . = sensu lato ; s.s . = sensu stricto ; subj. syn. = 
subjective synonym; syn(s). = synonym(s). In the 
case of subjective synonyms, we have noted all 
those that were listed by Aescht (2001) and for 
which we currently have reserved judgement on 
their validity. When comments are used, they are 
preceded by “ NOTE ” or are in brackets. 
 Synonymies have been established either by 
reference to the original literature or, when 
that was unavailable, by using the informa-
tion provided in the Zoological Record . For 
many of the genera established, for example, by 
Jankowski (1978, 1979, 1980, 1981, and some-
times later) and others, and for which authors 
have not provided assignment to family, we 
have assumed that the genus remains within the 
family to which its type species was assigned 
at the time the author proposed the new genus. 
For example, Pelagotrichidium Jankowski, 1978 
has Hypotrichidium faurei as the type spe-
cies, but Jankowski (1978) did not assign the 
new genus to a family. Therefore, we have 
assumed that the new genus Pelagotrichidium
remains in the Family SPIROFILIDAE to which 
Hypotrichidium was assigned. 
 Since Corliss (1979), numerous monotypic fam-
ilies have been established. In the vast majority 
of cases, we have not affirmed these families, but 
rather placed them in synonymy with the family 
from which the type genus of the new monotypic 
family originated. Future research, especially 
using molecular genetic approaches, may dem-
onstrate the genetic distinctiveness of these pro-
posed monotypic families. This would provide the 
additional support necessary to remove them from 
synonymy. For example, Corliss synonymized the 
monotypic Family SCHIZOCARYIDAE with the 
Family PLAGIOPYLIDAE , and placed its type 
genus Schizocaryum as incertae sedis in the latter 
family. Examination of Schizocaryum by electron 
microscopy (Lynn & Frombach, 1987) and gene 
sequencing (Lynn & Strüder-Kypke, 2002) dem-
onstrated in the former case that its morphology 
was very different from the plagiopylids , justify-
ing the establishment of a monotypic family, and 
demonstrated in the latter case that the family 
should be placed within the Order Philasterida 
(see p. 414). 
17.3 The Ciliate Taxa to Genus 341
 17.3 The Ciliate Taxa to Genus 
 Phylum CILIOPHORA Doflein, 1901 
 (syns. Ciliae , Ciliozoa , Cytoidea , Eozoa , Hetero caryota , 
 Heterokaryota , Infusoria , also Ciliata [ Ciliatea , Ciliaside , 
 Euciliara ] + Suctoria [ Suctorea ], Gymnostomea + 
 Ciliostomea + Tentaculifera , Kinetodesmatophora + 
 Postciliodesmatophora , Rhabdophora + Cyrtophora , 
 Kinetofragminophora + OLIGOHYMENOPHOREA 
+ Polyhymenophorea , Tubuli- corticata + Filicorticata + 
 Epiplasmata + Mem branellophora ) 
 Eukaryotic, unicellular, protists; size, 10–