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Diatoms of the United States is now known as Diatoms of North America.
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Greville 1865      Category: Centric
TYPE SPECIES: Skeletonema costatum Cleve




CLASS: Coscinodiscophyceae
  ORDER: Thalassiosirales
    FAMILY: Skeletonemataceae

  1. Valves lightly silicified
  2. Elongate tubular process links cells to form colonies

Valves of Skeletonema are very lightly silicified and often collapse when dried, or dissolve with standard processing methods. The marginal fultoportulae are positioned at the base of each connecting or tubular process. This process links frustules into long colonies. A single rimoportula is located at the base of the connecting process.

Skeletonema grows primarily in marine and estuaries. Species within the genus are know to form large blooms in eutrophic and saline inland lakes and large rivers. Specimens of Skeletonema may be overlooked in samples due to their very light silicification.

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

Contributor: Sarah Spaulding | Mark Edlund - December 2008