- A ciliate protozoan was discovered whose presence coincided with a rapid decrease in the viability (i.e. ability to close valves) of glochidia of the freshwater mussel Lampsilis siliquoidea. Microscopic examination showed it to be a histophagous tetrahymenine ciliate. Small subunit (SSU) rRNA and cytochrome c oxidase subunit 1 (cox1) barcode sequences from cultured cells showed that it belongs to the same new species isolated from water samples as a free-living ciliate. Phylogenetic analyses place this new ciliate in the same clade with the macrostome species Tetrahymena paravorax, and we propose the name T. glochidiophila n. sp. for this new species. The phylogeny provides further support for the hypothesis that histophagy was a life history trait of the ancestor of Tetrahymena.