Spaulding and Kociolek 2002      Category: Symmetrical biraphid
TYPE SPECIES: Playaensis circumfibria Spaulding and Kociolek




Image Credit: Sarah Spaulding

CLASS: Bacillariophyceae
  ORDER: Naviculales

  1. Raphe bordered by prominent longitudinal rib
  2. Valves panduriform with marginal spines
  3. Valves less than 40 µm in length

Frustules of Playaensis are small in size, less than 40 µm in length. Valves are panduriform in shape and the valve margins are ornamented with small, fin-like spines. Striae are uniseriate and punctate. The raphe is bordered on both sides by a longitudinal rib. Internally, this rib is visible as a broad structure. Externally, the surface of valves are ornamented with spherical nodules.

Playaensis is known from northern New Mexico, where two species occur in playa lakes. A species described from Argentina, Navicula toba Maidana and Herbst (1994) appears to belong to Playaensis. Recent reports document additional species present in North America (Kociolek et al. 2014).

Cite This Page:
Spaulding, S., and Edlund, M. (2008). Playaensis. In Diatoms of the United States. Retrieved April 24, 2018, from

Contributor: Sarah Spaulding | Mark Edlund - December 2008
Reviewer: Sam Rushforth - June 2010