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Willaertia magna

Johan F. De Jonckheere
Containing group: Heterolobosea


Willaertia magna was originally regarded as belonging to the genus Naegleria based essentially on cyst morphology. Molecular phylogeny showed, however, that it is a different genus, but it is the closest relative to the Naegleria genus. The cysts of Willaertia magna have pores (Fig. 1) as in Naegleria spp., and the flagellates with four flagella divide successively resulting in progressive reduction in cell volume (Robinson et al. 1989). This successive division has not been observed in Naegleria spp. in which dividing flagellates are detected.

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Fig. 1. Cysts of Willaertia magna. © Johan F. De Jonckheere


Robinson B.S., Christy P.E., De Jonckheere J.F. Observations on a temporary flagellate stage in Vahlkampfiid amoeba Willaertia magna and its significance for the phylogeny of the related genus Naegleria. Biosystems, 23, 75-86,1989.

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This page is being developed as part of the Tree of Life Web Project Protist Diversity Workshop, co-sponsored by the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research (CIFAR) program in Integrated Microbial Biodiversity and the Tula Foundation.

de Duve Institute and Scientific Institute of Public Health, Belgium

Correspondence regarding this page should be directed to Johan F. De Jonckheere at

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Citing this page:

De Jonckheere, Johan F. 2008. Willaertia magna. Version 21 September 2008 (under construction). http://tolweb.org/Willaertia_magna/124654/2008.09.21 in The Tree of Life Web Project, http://tolweb.org/

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