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Diatoms of the United States is now known as Diatoms of North America.
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GENERA starting with "d"


Decussata 1

  1. Valves linear to linear-lanceolate
  2. Striae punctate
  3. Striae decussate

Symmetrical biraphid - Decussata valves are linear to linear-lanceolate, with slightly rostrate ends. The striae are punctate, comprised of distinct, round areolae. The striae are decussate, meaning they appear to be organized into rows - a transapical row and two oblique rows. Decussata includes two species, including the former Navicula placenta. Decussata placenta grows in low nutrient, slightly acidic seeps in Iowa. It is also known from...


  1. Valves narrow, slightly asymmetric to apical axis
  2. Terminal raphe fissures deflected dorsally

Asymmetrical biraphid - Valves are slightly asymmetric to the apical axis and symmetric to the transpical axis. The valve shape is narrow and lanceolate. The raphe is distinctly lateral and becomes reverse-lateral at the proximal ends. The terminus of the raphe is thin, comma shaped, and terminal raphe fissures are deflected toward the dorsal side. Valves lack a distinct central area. Stigmata are absent. The striae are fine and usually number...

Denticula 3

  1. Raphe eccentric, on a wide, low marginal keel
  2. Internal fibulae distinct, thickened

Nitzschioid - The raphe system of each valve is positioned diagonally opposite to one another, demonstrating nitzschiod symmetry. The raphe system is located within a wide, low keel. The raphe may or may not have proximal raphe ends or be continuous across the valve, a feature difficult to see without SEM. Thick internal bars of silica (fibulae) are present and parallel to the striae. The fibulae widen near the valve margins to form a...

Diadesmis 1

  1. Areolae elongate
  2. Frustules small, usually less than 20 µm in length
  3. Cells form band-like colonies

Symmetrical biraphid - Diadesmis is biraphid, although the raphe often becomes secondarily filled with silica. Frustules of Diadesmis are small, usually less than 30 µm in length. The striae are composed of areolae elongated in the transapical direction, a characteristic that may be difficult to discern in the LM. Frustules form band-like colonies, which may be linked by marginal spines. The raphe systems of many frustules are secondarily...

Diatoma 4

  1. Sternum may be discernable, or not
  2. Transapical ribs heavily silicified
  3. Spines absent, or scattered at porefields
  4. Rimoportula present

Araphid - The genus Diatoma possesses a raised central sternum, which may or may not be distinct. Transverse costae are characteristically thickened and septae are absent. Striae are comprised of uniseriate rows of areolae. Each valve has a single rimoportula, positioned near a valve terminus and oriented transapically. A ligula is present on the second girdle band, which attaches to the polar position of the valve, adjacent to...

Diatomella 1

  1. Valves with distinct septa
  2. Striae short
  3. Proximal raphe ends expanded

Symmetrical biraphid - The frustules of Diatomella are symmetrical to the apical and transapical axes. The valve outline is linear-elliptical. An internal septum is present, with three openings forming a distinctive internal thickening of silica. The striae are short, often not extending far beyond the valve margin. The proximal raphe ends are expanded. Diatomella is the only naviculoid diatom that possesses a septum (rather than a...

Didymosphenia 1

  1. Valves large and robust
  2. Stigmata one to several
  3. Apical porefield at footpole, large

Asymmetrical biraphid - Frustules of Didymosphenia are asymmetrical to the transapical axis and symmetrical to the apical axis (although some populations may be slightly to strongly asymmetrical to the apical axis). One to several stigmata are present, a feature that may be variable within a given species. A large apical porefield is present at the footpole. The terminal raphe fissures are deflected prior to reaching the apical porefield....

Diploneis 5

  1. Valves elliptic to panduriform
  2. Longitudinal canals present
  3. Areolae complex

Symmetrical biraphid - Frustules of Diploneis are typically elliptical to panduriform, with bluntly rounded apices. Each valve possesses two longitudinal canals, one on each side of the raphe. The canals are positioned within the silica cell wall and open to the exterior through pores, but lack openings to the interior of the cell. The function of these canals is uncertain. The frustules are heavily silicified, with complex (loculate)...

Diprora 1

  1. Frustules typically with a convex and concave valve
  2. Frustules joined to form filaments
  3. Marginal pores present
  4. Apical prows present
  5. Cingulum short, band-like

Araphid - The genus Diprora is monotypic (contains a single species) and, to date, is known only from the state of Hawai’i. The genus is tentatively placed in the Fragilariophyceae, although the relation of Diprora to other related taxa is uncertain. This taxon is somewhat similar to the marine taxon, Hyalinella, although Diprora lacks an ocellus-like structure. The filamentous araphid morphology suggests an affinity to the...

Discostella 2

  1. Central area with large alveoli, often star-shaped
  2. Marginal radial costae
  3. Marginal fultoportulae present

Centric - Discostella grows as solitary cells or forms colonies in chains. The central area may be flat or concentrically undulate. Large, distinctive alveoli form a star-shaped pattern in the central valve. Radial costae are present at the valve margin. Small spines may be present or absent on the costae. Central to the costae are striae, which may be uniseriate or multiseriate. Marginal fultoportulae are present, located on...

Distrionella 1

  1. Valves elongated, with capitate ends
  2. Striae unevenly spaced
  3. Rimoportula single, often central within a stria near one pole

Araphid - Frustules of Distrionella are elongated with capitate ends. Valves may be slightly asymmetrical to the transapical axis. Striae are unevenly spaced and become scattered and more irregular at the valve ends. Transapical ribs often evident. A central sternum is absent. Porefields, composed of simple porelli, are present at both valve ends. One rimoportula is present, and is usually positioned centrally within a stria near...