Description: Chlamydomonas, live, approx 6mL
Chlamydomonas are usually found in lakes, duck ponds, pools and on damp soil. They are single celled, motile, green algae. (occasionally forming red blooms)
Chlamydomonas has a round body with a cup-shaped (or H - shaped) chloroplast, and two flagella. Typically they have two vacuoles near the base of the flagella. "Red snow" in mountainous areas is the result of the immense concentration of these cells and their red pigment.
These organisms can reproduce both sexually and asexually during their life cycle. The zygote forms a thick spherical cell wall around itself and has enhanced resistance to environmental conditions. When conditions are more suitable, the zygote undergoes meiosis, forming four cells, which are liberated into the environment on the disintegration of the zygote wall.
Asexual reproduction simply involves division of the parent cell to form 2-8 zoospores within the cellulose parental cell wall. This wall then ruptures, enabling the plant to swim into their environment.