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Life > Eukaryotes


The term "amoeba" is nowadays recognised as representing a type of cellular organisation, rather that a monophyletic group. An amoeba has only one cell (unicellular) and is characterised by the way it moves by squeezing its protoplasm into temporary leg-like extensions called pseudopodia.



Members of the Tubilinea exist only in water although this can include the water film round soil particles, and in fact they can be very abundant in soil. The soil fauna is evidently just a subset of what is found in freshwater. Soil amoebae can feed on bacteria, diatoms, nematodes, particles of organic matter, fungi and protozoa. They have evidently been recognised as being important in the control of bacterial populations.



A group of free-living amoebae that can be found in freshwater and marine habitats, as well as in soil.



Two genera: Corallomyxa and Stereomyxa, both of which are marine. Corallomyxa is a large reticulate amoeba that has been found in tidal pools. Stereomyxa is an amoeba with long slender branches.



Formerly classified in the Rhizopoda (amastigote amoebas), which has now been disbanded because it is polyphyletic. Includes the genera Acanthamoeba, Balamuthia and Protacanthamoeba.



[= Entamoebidae]

A single genus: Entamoeba. Members of this genus are internal parasites or commensals of animals. Entamoeba histolitica causes the death of 50 000 to 100 000 people annually.



Includes the genera: Mastigella and Mastigamoeba. Possibly also Endolimax and Mastigina.



Single-celled. Have no mitochondria but instead have symbiotic bacteria that seem to perform a similar function thus illustrating how mitochondria might have started out prior to their total integration into the cellular machinery.






Genera: Filamoeba, Gocevia, Hartmannia, Janickia, Malamoeba, Malpigamoeba, Multicilia, and Stygamoeba.


Unplaced (Spongomonadida)

Genera: Phalansterium, Rhipidodendron, and Spongomonas.



  • Adl, S.M., Simpson, A.G., Farmer, M.A., Andersen, R.A., Anderson, O.R., Barta, J.R., Bowser, S.S., Brugerolle, G., Fensome, R.A., Fredericq, S., James, T.Y., Karpov, S., Kugrens, P., Krug, J., Lane, C.E., Lewis, L.A., Lodge, J., Lynn, D.H., Mann, D.G., McCourt, R.M., Mendoza, L., Moestrup, ., Mozley-Standridge, S.E., Nerad, T.A., Shearer, C.A., Smirnov, A.V., Spiegel, F.W. and Taylor, M.F.J.R. 2005. The new higher level classification of eukaryotes with emphasis on the taxonomy of protists. Eukaryote Microbiology 52(5): 399-451.


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