Diatoma ehrenbergii

Kütz. 1844      Category: Araphid
SYNONYM(S): Diatoma vulgaris var. ehrenbergii  (Kütz.) Grunow 1862 
REPORTED AS: Diatoma vulgare var. grande (Patrick and Reimer 1966, p. 110, Pl. 2, Figs. 13-14) 

Diadesmis confervacea


Diatoma moniliformis

LM scalebar = 10 µm = 40 pixels.


Contributor: David R.L. Burge | Mark Edlund - July 2015
Length Range: 31-121 µm
Width Range: 4.5-9.3 µm
Striae in 10 µm: 35-40


Valves are narrow and elongate becoming lanceolate in smaller valves. Apices are broadly rounded sub-rostrate to capitate. Costae are mostly primary, and number 9-15 in 10 µm. Secondary and tertiary costae are commonly present. A single rimoportula is present, oriented perpendicular to the apical axis, near one of the apices. Striae are uniseriate, not visible in LM. Apical porefields are present at each apex. Frustules are attached to the substratum, or joined in zig-zag colonies by mucilage.

Original Description

Author: Kütz. 1844
Length Range: µm
Striae in 10 µm:

Original Description

DIATOMA EHRENBERGII. Taf. 17. Fig. XVII. 1-3. (420/1). D. affixum, stipite minutulo; articulis validis medium versus parum contractis, a latere secundario in media parte dilatatis, prope apices capitatos contractis, isthmo pulvinato distinctissimo concatenatis; striis in 1/106’” 11.

Original Images

Cite This Page:
Burge, D., and Edlund, M. (2015). Diatoma ehrenbergii. In Diatoms of the United States. Retrieved April 21, 2018, from http://westerndiatoms.colorado.edu/taxa/species/diatoma_ehrenbergii

Species: Diatoma ehrenbergii

Contributor: David R.L. Burge | Mark Edlund

Reviewer: Kalina Manoylov


Grunow, A. (1862). Die österreichischen Diatomaceen nebst Anschluss einiger neuen Arten von andern Lokalitäten und einer kritischen Uebersicht der bisher bekannten Gattungen und Arten. Erste Folge. Epithemieae, Meridioneae, Diatomeae, Entopyleae, Surirelleae, Amphipleureae. Zweite Folge. Familie Nitzschieae. Verhandlungen der Kaiserlich-Königlichen Zoologisch-Botanischen Gesellschaft in Wien 12: 368, Pl. 7, fig. 8.

Kützing, F.T. (1844). Die kieselschaligen Bacillarien oder Diatomeen. Nordhausen. 152 pp., 30 pls.

Patrick, R.M. and Reimer, C.W. (1966). The Diatoms of the United States exclusive of Alaska and Hawaii, V. 1. Monographs of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia 13.

Links & ID's

Index Nominum Algarum (INA)

Original INA

California Academy of Sciences (CAS)

Diatoma ehrenbergii CAS

North American Diatom Ecological Database (NADED)

NADED ID: 27017

Autecology Discussion

Originally described from Europe, there are only a few verified records of D. ehrenbergii in the United States. We observed D. ehrenbergii growing in the epilithon in the littoral zone of Lake Michigan and Lake Superior.

Live populations are often seen in girdle view forming zigzag chains. Careful focus is required to observe the rostrate ends that distinguish this taxon from other species of Diatoma.


Healthy cells have discoid chloroplasts which become reduced and lose their golden brown color under formaldehyde preservation.

Credit/Source: David Burge

Recently collected specimens shown to illustrate colony formation and discoid chloroplasts.

Credit/Source: David Burge