Staurosira construens var. venter

(Ehrenb.) Hamilton 1992      Category: Araphid
BASIONYM: Fragilaria venter Ehrenb. 1854

Staurosira construens var. binodis


Staurosira stevensonii

LM scalebar = 10 µm = 80 pixels.


Contributor: Eduardo A. Morales - October 2010
Length Range: 5-26 µm
Width Range: 4-5.5 µm
Striae in 10 µm: 12-16


Valves are lanceolate with rostrate ends in larger specimens and elliptical with broadly rounded ends in smaller valves, 4-5.5 µm wide and 5-26 µm long. The valve face is flat, or slightly undulate due to raised costae. The valve face/mantle junction forms a sharp angle. In girdle view, frustules are rectangular and form ribbon-like colonies joined by linking spines. One cell within a colony is attached to the substratum by a frustule attached by a mucilage pad, or cells may be planktonic. The axial area is narrowly to widely lanceolate. The striae are distinct, alternate, and composed of oval areolae decreasing in size from the valve face/mantle edge to both the central sternum and the valve mantle; 12-16 in 10 µm. Lineolae bear finely branched volae. Striae vary from parallel to radiate in the central area to radiate toward the valve ends. Striae extend nearly to the mantle edge (abvalvar edge) in smaller specimens. The costae are broad. Spines are spatulate, hollow and some possess terminal digitations that connect to neighboring valve lineolae. Spines are present along the valve face edge, except at the apices, and always located on the costae between striae. Well-developed, ocellulimbus type, apical pore fields with round poroids are present. Apical pore fields are located on the junction between valve mantle/mantle. Rimoportula are absent. Scab-like deposits are present in some specimens on the abvalvar edge of the mantle near the valve apices. Copulae (girdle bands) are open and lack perforations. Valvocopulae are wider than copulae.

Morphological variability of specimens within single samples is common in S. construens var. venter, as with other varieties. This variability is not only related to size diminution during asexual reproduction, which mainly affects valve outline and striae orientation, but is also due to differences in shape of areolae, length and thickness of striae and degree of development of apical pore fields. For example, Morales (2001) and Morales et al. (2001) reported extensive morphological variability in valve outline and striation pattern and density in a single lake population from Connecticut.

Original Description

Basionym: Fragilaria venter
Author: Ehrenb. 1854
Length Range: µm
Striae in 10 µm:

Original Description

Original Images

Cite This Page:
Morales, E. (2010). Staurosira construens. In Diatoms of the United States. Retrieved April 18, 2018, from

Species: Staurosira construens

Contributor: Eduardo A. Morales

Reviewer: Sarah Spaulding


Ehrenberg, C.G. (1854). Mikrogeologie. Einundvierzig Tafeln mit über viertausend grossentheils colorirten Figuren, Gezeichnet vom Verfasser. Voss, Leipzig., Pl. 5, II, fig. 23 (iconotype).

Hamilton, P.B., Poulin, M., Charles, D.F., and Angell, M. (1992). Americanarum Diatomarum Exsiccata: CANA, Voucher Slides from Eight Acidic Lakes in Northeastern North America. Diatom Research 7(1):25-36. 10.1080/0269249X.1992.9705195

Morales, E.A. (2001). Morphological studies in selected fragilarioid diatoms (Bacillariophyceae) from Connecticut waters (U.S.A.). Proceedings of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia 151: 105-120.

Morales, E.A., Siver, P.A. and Trainor, F.R. (2001). Identification of diatoms during ecological assessments: Comparison between light and scanning electron microscopy . Proceedings of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia 151: 29-37.

Links & ID's

Index Nominum Algarum (INA)

Transfer INA

California Academy of Sciences (CAS)

Staurosira construens var. venter CAS

North American Diatom Ecological Database (NADED)

NADED ID: 172006

Autecology Discussion

Cells attach to substrate by mucilage pads; colonies formed by linking spines or cells may be planktonic

EMAP Assessment

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) western Environmental Monitoring and Assessment Program (EMAP) study was completed during the years 2000-2004 (see citations at bottom of this page). Over 1200 streams and rivers in 12 western states (Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, Washington and Wyoming) were selected for sampling based on a stratified randomized design. This type of design insures that ecological resources are sampled in proportion to their actual geographical presence. Stratified randomized design also allows for estimates of stream length with a known confidence in several “condition classes” (good or least-disturbed, intermediately-disturbed, and poor or most-disturbed) for biotic condition, chemistry and habitat.

EMAP Distribution

Staurosira construens var. venter

EMAP Response Plots

Staurosira construens var. venter

EMAP citations

Results are published in:

Johnson, T., Hermann, K., Spaulding, S., Beyea, B., Theel, C., Sada, R., Bollman, W., Bowman, J., Larsen, A., Vining, K., Ostermiller, J., Petersen, D. Hargett, E. and Zumberge, J. (2009). An ecological assessment of USEPA Region 8 streams and rivers. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 8 Report, 178 p.

Stoddard, J. L., Peck, D. V., Olsen, A. R., Larsen, D. P., Van Sickle, J., Hawkins, C. P., Hughes, R. M., Whittier, T. R., Lomnicky, G. A., Herlihy, A. T., Kaufman, P. R., Peterson, S. A., Ringold, P. L., Paulsen, S. G., and Blair, R. (2005). Environmental Monitoring and Assessment Program (EMAP) western streams and rivers statistical summary. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Report 620/R-05/006, 1,762 p.

Stoddard, J. L., Peck, D. V., Paulsen, S. G., Van Sickle, J., Hawkins, C. P., Herlihy, A. T., Hughes, R. M., Kaufman, P. R., Larsen, D. P., Lomnicky, G. A., Olsen, A. R., Peterson, S. A., Ringold, P. L., and Whittier, T. R. (2005). An ecological assessment of western streams and rivers. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Report 620/R-05/005, 49 p.