Biology Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for biology researchers, academics, and students. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I have just discovered that my kitchen sink pipe has been leaking for quite some time (possibly months) which has resulted in water and food deposits collecting in my cupboard.

I smeared some of the residue onto a slide and looked at it under my microscope. I could see a large number of translucent organisms (visible at 40x magnification, they are roughly 100 µm in length). They all appeared to be of the same species although they varied in size and developmental stage. The 'adults' are quite long and look similar to maggots; they scrunch their bodies into balls and then stretch out in order to propel themselves.

Unfortunately I lack the equipment to take a photo of it but here's a rough sketch of what it looks like moving to the right:

enter image description here

Don't take the features too literally.

Can anyone hazard a guess as to what it might be?

share|improve this question
Can you make an image of this organisms? – Chris Aug 10 '14 at 21:18
@Chris I have updated my question. – lemon Aug 10 '14 at 21:45
I cannot help to answer your question, but I admire your action of taking swabs instead of freaking out after discovering this fact. – skymningen Aug 11 '14 at 13:54
up vote 3 down vote accepted

It seems like Euglena but I need more parameters than what you have provided.

you can narrow it down by this:


You can find them in commonly found microorganism in kitchen:



share|improve this answer
Euglena are certainly very similar! Although they don't scrunch up and move like those that I observed. I will look through this list when I get some spare time, thank you. – lemon Aug 11 '14 at 13:25

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.