Visit us at

Diatoms of the United States is now known as Diatoms of North America.
This site has been redesigned and updated, and will be closing soon.


Moser, Lange-Bertalot and Metzeltin 1998      Category: Symmetrical biraphid
TYPE SPECIES: Adlafia muscora Moser, Lange-Bertalot and Metzeltin




Image Credit: Marina Potapova

CLASS: Bacillariophyceae
  ORDER: Naviculales
    FAMILY: Naviculaceae

  1. Terminal raphe fissures strongly bent
  2. Externally, areolae covered by hymenes
  3. Striae radial, uniseriate

Adlafia is a genus characterized by small cells, usually less than 25 µm in length. The valve shape is linear to linear-lanceolate. Adlafia is distinguished by terminal raphe fissures that are strongly bent and angular. The shape of the valve ends may be blunt, rostrate, or subcapitate. Striae are radial. Externally, the areolae are covered by hymenes. The striae are uniseriate. Species in this genus are also characterized by the solitary growth of cells.

Adlafia is comprised of species formerly in Navicula, including A. muscora (Kociolek and Reviers) Moser, and A. bryophila (Petersen) Moser. Adlafia species are characteristic of aerophilic habitats, especially growing in and around wet mosses. Some species are found in oligotrophic lakes. In general, species of Adlafia are widespread across North America, but often rare within a given assemblage.

Cite This Page:
Spaulding, S., and Edlund, M. (2009). Adlafia. In Diatoms of the United States. Retrieved May 24, 2018, from

Contributor: Sarah Spaulding | Mark Edlund - January 2009
Reviewer: Sam Rushforth - April 2010