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.

Aulacoseira humilis

(A.Cleve) Genkal and Trifonova in Trifonova and Genkal 2001      Category: Centric
BASIONYM: Melosira distans var. humilis A.Cleve 1939
SYNONYM(S): Aulacoseira distans var. humilis (A.Cleve) R.Ross in B.Hartley 

Aulacoseira herzogii


Aulacoseira islandica

LM scalebar = 10 µm = 80 pixels.


Contributor: Jonathan English | Marina Potapova - December 2010
Diameter: 5-9 µm
Mantle Height: 2-5 µm
Rows of areolae in 10 µm: 24-40


Frustules are cylindrical and form short colonies. Valves are 5-9 µm in diameter, with a mantle height between 2-5 µm. The ratio of the mantle height to valve diameter is less than 1. The mantle has straight sides and the valve face is often strongly convex or concave. The valve face has large, round areolae in a marginal ring and the area inside this ring has similar but irregularly positioned areolae. These valve face areolae have a density of 17 per 10 µm. The straight pervalvar rows of areolae are positioned in pairs, within grooves. There are 24-40 rows of areolae in 10 µm. The smaller areolae are often not visible in LM, but a pair of areolae can appear together as a single, large areola, which would give the striae an apparent density of 12-20 per 10 µm. The density of the areolae along each row is between 16-22 per 10 µm. Terminating each pair of rows is a single, large areola. The spines are located at the end of each pervalvar costa. The spines are long and thin, tapering away from the valve face, have an anchor-shaped end and may be up to 3 µm long. Linking and separation spines are not differentiated. The ringleiste is solid, shallow and broad.

Florin (1981) notes that in Cleve-Euler’s (1951) examination of this taxon she found that the diameter can be as great as 12 µm. The striae in Florin (1981), at 10 per 10 µm, are coarser than what we observed. Siver and Kling (1997) note that the tips of the spines are slightly swollen rather than anchor-shaped. They also found that most of the valves had convex valve faces and a few had flat faces, but make no mention of concave faces.

Original Description

Basionym: Melosira distans var. humilis
Author: A.Cleve 1939
Diameter: 6 µm
Mantle Height: 4.425 µm
Rows of areolae in 10 µm: 10

Original Description

M. distans v. humilis n. v. -Fig. 1. Zellen kleiner als im Typus, 8.85 µ hoch and 6 µ breit; vertikale Punktreihen 10 in 10 µ.

Einzelne Fäden in Joukj. Diese Form unterscheidet sich von meiner M. distans v. exigua (1934 S. 8) durch ihre grobe Struktur.

Original Images

Cite This Page:
English, J., and Potapova, M. (2010). Aulacoseira humilis. In Diatoms of the United States. Retrieved May 22, 2018, from

Species: Aulacoseira humilis

Contributor: Jonathan English | Marina Potapova

Reviewer: Mark Edlund


Camburn, K.E. and Kingston, J.C. (1986). The genus Melosira from soft-water lakes with special reference to northern Michigan, Wisconsin and Minnesota. In: Diatoms and Lake Acidity, J.P. Smol, R.W. Battarbee, R.B. Davis & J. Meriläinen (eds), Dr W. Junk Publishers, Dordrecht. pp. 17-34.

Cleve-Euler, A. (1939). Bacillariaceen-Assoziationen im Nördlichsten Finnland. Acta Societatis Scientiarum Fennicae, Nova Series B. Helsingfors, Akademische Buchhandlung (Acta botanica fennica). 2(3):1-41.

Florin, M.B. (1981). The taxonomy of some Melosira species, a comparative morphological study. II. Proceedings of the 6th Symposium on recent and fossil diatoms, Budapest, Hungary. Koeltz, Koenigstein, Germany.

Siver, P.A. and Kling, H. (1997). Morphological observations of Aulacoseira using scanning electron microscopy. Can. J. Bot. 75: 1807–1835.

Trifonova, I. and Genkal, S. (2001). Species of the genus Aulacoseira Thwaites in lakes and rivers of north-western Russia - distribution and ecology. In: A. Economou-Amilli (ed.), Proceedings of the 16th International Diatom Symposium, Athens & Aegean Islands, 25 August - 1 September, 2000, Amvrosiou Press. 315-324.

Links & ID's

Index Nominum Algarum (INA)

Transfer INA

California Academy of Sciences (CAS)

Aulacoseira humilis CAS

North American Diatom Ecological Database (NADED)

NADED ID: 10064

Autecology Discussion