What Do Volvox Eat?

Volvox swim toward sunlight with whip-like flagella.
••• micro_photo/iStock/Getty Images

Peer through a microscope at a sample of fresh water, and you might see an emerald green, floating sphere. The hollow ball is actually comprised of algae of the genus Volvox and is a colony of thousands of individual algae cells. As part of the colonial lifestyle, the cells work together to find food energy. Cells with eye spots direct the colony toward sunlight, which is then harvested and converted into sugar.

Primary Producers

Volvox is a photoautotroph, or an organism that produces its own biomass by utilizing light from the sun and inorganic materials such as carbon dioxide and minerals. Volvox algae is green because of its high concentration of chlorophyll, a pigment that absorbs sunlight. Colonies of Volvox consume the sun's energy through the process of photosynthesis and turn it into sugar. The chemical reaction of photosynthesis is carbon dioxide plus water plus sunlight yields sugar, oxygen and water.

Related Articles

Role of Algae in the Ecosystem
What Are the Functions of Photosynthesis?
How Are Photosynthesis & Cellular Respiration Related?
The Morphology of Algae
What Type of Vegetation Is Found in Coral Reefs?
The Major Producers Found in Aquatic Ecosystems
How Does the Sun Affect the Food Web?
What Is the Sun's Role in Photosynthesis?
Facts on Bread Mold
Key Differences Between C3, C4 and CAM Photosynthesis
The Three Stages of Photosynthesis
How Do Flowers Get Their Food?
How to Make Sugar Water for Bees
Is Algae a Decomposer, a Scavenger or a Producer?
The Differences Between Bacteria & Algae
Types of Organisms That Can Use Photosynthesis
What Do Chloroplasts Use to Make Glucose?
What Organisms Eat Seaweed?
Structural Characteristics of Blue-Green Algae
What Organisms Carry Out Photosynthesis?