Dictyostelium caveatum amebas feed upon both bacteria and the amebas of other cellular slime molds. The capacity to feed extensively upon other cellular slime molds is unique to D. caveatum amebas. They are able to phagocytose amebas larger than themselves by nibbling pieces of the cells until they are small enough to ingest. Here we report the isolation from previously cloned stock cultures of stable, cannibalistic strains of D. caveatum in which self/nonself recognition has broken down. Because of the extensive cannibalism, amebas of these strains do not complete multicellular development, and instead wander about for long periods while feeding upon each other. Although the cannibalistic behavior resembles that exhibited by the presumably diploid giant cells in the sexual cycle of other cellular slime molds, these strains are haploid and do not form macrocysts.

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