There is no difficulty whatever in regarding Hydra as bearing the same relation to the actinula-stage of other Hydromedusae that a Rotifer bears to a trochophore-larva or a fish to a tadpole.
Leeuwenhoek described Rotifer vulgaris in 1702, and he subsequently described Melicerta ringens and other species.
A rotifer may be regarded as typically a hemisphere or half an oblate spheroid or paraboloid with a mouth somewhere on the flat end ("disk" or "corona"), which bears a usually double ciliated ring, the outer zone the "cingulum," and inner the "trochus".
The apical end of the rotifer usually narrows suddenly beyond the curve of the gut and the cloacal aperture to form the foot of pseudopodium which ends in an organ of attachment, a pair of movable toes, each with the opening of a cement-gland (gl) at its tip. Thus for orientation we place the rotifer like the cuttle-fish, head downwards: the ciliated disk is basal or oral, proximal to the rest of the animal, the foot is apical, and the brain and cloacal aperture are anterodorsal.
I, Simple disk of Microcodon; 2, bdelloid disk of Rotifer and of most Melicertids showing dorsal gap; 3, disk of Hydatina, with lobed ridges in the groove, bearing vibratile styles (membranelles); 4, disk of Melicerta ringens and M.
Thus the rotifer is, as it were, constantly drawn forward into the centre of this vortex ring.
- a, Microcodon clavus, showing corona, lateral antennae and jointed foot; b, Rhinops vitrea, corona from below, showing proboscidiform extension containing eyes; c, Philodina megalotrocha; d, head of Rotifer macroceros, postero-ventral view, showing lobes of corona, and antero-dorsal median antenna, telescopic with setae; e, Rotifer (Actinurus) neptunius, showing head with retracted corona, and protruded dorsal proboscis bearing median antenna, and telescopic foot with toes and spurs; f.