Reclinomonas cells appear as sessile, loricate trophic cells, naked free-swimming zoospores, and cysts.

Uninucleate trophic cells are roughly comma shaped and about 15 micrometers long. They appear to recline on their dorsal (back) surface (hence the name Reclinomonas) in a colorless stalked lorica. The lorica envelops most of the cell, although only the stalk ("stipe") normally is visible under the microscope. Two flagella emerge from the anterior end of the cell. The anterior flagellum is free, whereas the posterior flagellum normally remains in a groove formed by a cytoplasmic vane on the right ventral side of the cell. A cytoplasmic spur ("epipodium") typically is found on the left ventral side of the cell. Bacteria are captured in the ventral groove and are digested in food vacuoles.

Zoospores are similar to the sessile cells but are naked, tend to be sausage-shaped rather than comma-shaped, lack an epipodium and possess a large posterior vacuole that contains the lorica scales.

Cysts are formed from single cells, and typically reside in the parent lorica. They have a clear, thick wall, with a button (escape aperture?) at the top of the cyst (ventral surface of the former trophic cell).

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