Cyclotella quillensis

L.W.Bailey 1921      Category: Centric

Cyclotella meneghiniana


Cymatopleura internationale

LM scalebar = 10 µm = 20 pixels.


Contributor: Mark Edlund | David R.L. Burge - December 2016
Diameter: 24.9-54.7 µm
Mantle Height: 3.4-4.5 µm
Rows of areolae in 10 µm: 16-17 based on circumferential density, 5-6 based on chord count


Valves are round. The central area covers 4/5 of the valve face. The central area is tangentially undulate, a feature more distinct in smaller specimens. The central area contains numerous central fultoportulae, arranged in a loosely circular pattern offset from the valve center. Striae are multiseriate composed of 3 to 4 rows of areolae. Radial “ghost” lines continue from the ends of the striae toward the valve center, where they become less pronounced. These lines may be slightly wavy, with occasional branching. The lines occur at a similar density as the striae. Spines are present between each stria at the face-mantle junction. Spines are 2-3 µm in length.

Original Description

Author: L.W.Bailey 1922
Diameter: 50-70 µm
Rows of areolae in 10 µm: 6

Original Description

Valves circular, in the form of low vaulted domes, of which the surface is sometimes undulated. The size varies from 50 to 70 micron. Striae radiant as in Cyclotella compta, but arranged in three or four concentric circles, of which the outer has the character of ribs rather than striae, being strong and more or less distinctly pearled, while the second is much fainter and the third is only visible with high powers. Even a fourth circle can sometimes be made out, approaching the apex of the low zone. The number of marginal ribs is about 6 in 10 microns, and from these, in many cases, spring spines from one to two microns long, thus bearing a close resemblance to Stephanodiscus. Minute nodules are sometimes visible at the inner end of the second, third or fourth one of radiating striae. The centre of the dome is usually smooth, but sometimes shows a number of dots irregularly arranged. The species is larger than C. Kutzingiana or C. compta, being more like C. Meneghiniana. The marginal radial ribs look as if they might have been developed from striae originating like those of S. astrea or S. Niagarae, while the fainter second circle is not continuous with these, but appears to spring from an inter-rib depression.

Original Images

Cite This Page:
Edlund, M., and Burge, D. (2016). Cyclotella quillensis. In Diatoms of the United States. Retrieved April 25, 2018, from

Species: Cyclotella quillensis

Contributor: Mark Edlund | David R.L. Burge

Reviewer: Loren Bahls


Bailey, L.W. (1922). Diatoms from the Quill Lakes, Saskatchewan, and from Airdrie, Alberta. Contributions to Canadian Biology 11: 157-165, II pl..

Battarbee, R.W., Keister, C.M. and Bradbury, J.P. (1984). The frustular morphology and taxonomic relationships of Cyclotella quillensis Bailey. In: Proceedings of the Seventh International Diatom Symposium (D.G. Mann, ed.), Koeltz, Koenigstein, pp. 173-184.

Fritz, S.C., Juggins, S., Battarbee, R.W. and Engstrom, D.R. (1991). Reconstruction of past changes in salinity and climate using a diatom-based transfer function. Nature 352: 706-708 . 10.1038/352706a0

Håkansson, H. and Kling, H. (1994). Cylotella agassizensis nov. sp. and its relationship to C. quillensis Bailey and other prairie Cyclotella species. Diatom Research 9(2): 289-301. 10.1080/0269249X.1994.9705308

Links & ID's

Index Nominum Algarum (INA)

Original INA

California Academy of Sciences (CAS)

Cyclotella quillensis CAS

NCBI Genbank Taxonomy

Cyclotella quillensis NCBI

North American Diatom Ecological Database (NADED)


Autecology Discussion

Cyclotella quillensis was described from the saline Big and Little Quill Lakes of Saskatchewan, Canada. This taxon was found co-occuring with brackish to marine taxa, including Chaetoceros, Pleurosigma elongatum and Thalassionema nitzschioides (Bailey 1922). Cyclotella quillensis has been reported from other saline lakes in the Great Plains region including Medicine Lake, South Dakota (Battarbee et al. 1984). It was found in a range of conditions: conductivity 7000-63,000 µS, salinity 7.2-102.8 ppt, pH 8.2-9.2, Ca 13-410 mg/L, Mg 30-10,454 mg/L, Na 571-11,413 mg/L, K 128-1252 mg/L, alkalinity 315-1940 mg/L, SO4 2785-59,553 mg/L, Cl 166-11,413 mg/L. Cyclotella quillensis has been used as a indicator of dry climatic periods, when precipitation is at a minimum and closed basin lakes become increasingly saline (Fritz et al. 1991).