Cymatopleura solea

(Bréb. in Bréb. and Godey) W.Sm. 1851      Category: Surirelloid
BASIONYM: Surirella solea Bréb. in Bréb. and Godey 1835

Cymatopleura internationale


Cymbella affiniformis

LM scalebar = 10 µm = 20 pixels.


Contributor: Pat Kociolek - March 2011
Length Range: 56-280 µm
Width Range: 13-24 at the midsection, 15-36 at the broadest point µm
Striae in 10 µm: 29-34


Valves are broadly linear with a central constriction and tapering to blunt ends. Alar canals and ribs number 6-9 in 10 µm. Striations between the ribs are evident by fine, but not distinctly punctate striae. The raphe is contained in a canal around the margin of the valve. Undulations oriented across the face of the valve, occur the length of the valve.

Original Description

Basionym: Surirella solea
Author: Bréb. in Bréb. and Godey 1835
Length Range: µm
Striae in 10 µm:

Original Description

Original Images

Cite This Page:
Kociolek, P. (2011). Cymatopleura solea. In Diatoms of the United States. Retrieved April 24, 2018, from

Species: Cymatopleura solea

Contributor: Pat Kociolek

Reviewer: Rex Lowe


Krammer, K. and Lange-Bertalot, H. (1988). Bacillariophyceae. 2. Teil: Bacillariaceae, Epithemiaceae, Surirellaceae. In: Ettl, H., J. Gerloff, H. Heynig and D. Mollenhauer (eds.) Susswasserflora von Mitteleuropa, Band 2/2. Gustav Fisher Verlag, Jena.

Mann, D.G. (1987). Sexual reproduction in Cymatopleura solea. Diatom Research 2: 97-112. 10.1080/0269249X.1987.9704987

Mann, D.G. (1989). The species concept in diatoms: evidence for morphologically distinct, sympatric gamodemes in four epipelic species. Plant Systematics and Evolution 164: 215-237.

Ruck, E.C. and Kociolek, J.P. (2005). Preliminary phylogeny of the Family Surirellaceae (Bacillariophyta). Bibliotheca Diatomologica 50: 1-236.

Links & ID's

Index Nominum Algarum (INA)

Original INA

California Academy of Sciences (CAS)

Cymatopleura solea CAS

NCBI Genbank Taxonomy

Cymatopleura solea NCBI

North American Diatom Ecological Database (NADED)

NADED ID: 22001

Autecology Discussion

As a relatively large diatom with a raphe system that runs the perimeter of the cell, C. solea is found growing on the surface of fine sediments.

The 2014 Ecology and Systematics of Diatoms course at the Iowa Lakeside Lab found a large population of C. solea at Triboji beach, West Lake Okoboji. In contrast to conventional thinking that sexual reproduction is induced near 40% of the maximum call size, the students found cells at 20% of the maximum cell size. As a class project, students searched for specific size ranges (~ 2 µm bins) to plot the dimensions. No auxospores or initial valves were observed.

Mann (1987) documented sexual reproduction in C. solea and a similar size range (1989).


Size range of C. solea at Triboji beach. Scale bar equal to 100 µm.

Credit/Source: Ian Bishop

Plots of the morphological dimensions of the cells found at Triboji beach.

Credit/Source: Ian Bishop, David Burge

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

Cymatopleura solea

EMAP Response Plots

Cymatopleura solea

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.


- Extension of size range

Prior to this date, length was documented as 57-177 µm, width as 14-20 µm at the midsection and 20-27 at the broadest point. Striae in 10 µm were 29-34. These values were revised based on the 2014 diatom class observations. See AUTECOLOGY tab for details. - S. Spaulding