A thin flap of silica on the external valve face, lying along the apical axis. Hyaline or finely porous. Proximal margin formed by the edge of the raphe slit. Extends unsupported over the valve face. Distal margin is free. May lie flat or may be slightly to distinctly elevated. May partially or completely cover the striae. Found in genera such as Fallacia, Lyrella, Mastogloia, Microcostatus, Nitzschia and Sellaphora. Plural form is conopea. From Greek for canopy.

Details of the conopea are best viewed with the scanning electron microscope, but may be visible with the light microscope as longitudinal lines near the raphe or as unornamented areas of the valve face.

Conopea have been found to contain symbiotic nitrogen-fixing cyanobacteria.

See also pseudoconopeum.


Barber, H.G. and Hayworth, E.Y. (1981). Guide to the Morphology of the Diatom Frustule. Freshwater Biological Association, 112 pp.

Paddock, T.B.B. and Kemp, K.D. (1990). An illustrated survey of the morphological features of the diatom genus Mastogloia. Diatom Research 5: 73-103.

Round, F.E., Crawford, R.M. and Mann, D.G. (1990). The Diatoms. Biology and Morphology of the Genera. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 747 pp.