Diatomella balfouriana

Greville 1855      Category: Symmetrical biraphid

Diatoma vulgaris


Didymosphenia geminata

LM scalebar = 10 µm = 80 pixels.


Contributor: Pat Kociolek - March 2011
Length Range: 12-40 µm
Width Range: 3.5-6.0 µm
Striae in 10 µm: 18-22


Valves are linear with rounded apices. The axial area is wide. The raphe is filiform, arcuate, with dilated external proximal raphe ends that terminate relatively distant from one another. The striae are short and parallel to radiate, not distinctly punctate. A septum is present on each valvocopula. The septum extends the entire length of the valve and has three large openings, the largest in the center and two smaller at the ends.

This species is found in mountain streams and aerophilous habitats, particularly in the western US.

Original Description

Author: Greville 1855
Length Range: µm
Striae in 10 µm:

Original Description

DIATOMELLA, nob. Frustules quadrangular (forming at first a plano-compressed filament, at length separating) . Coloured vittæ two, straight, interrupted in the middle and at each end. Length •0004” to •0010”. Diatomella Balfouriana. Pl. IX. fig. 10-13. Grannmatophora ? Βalfouriana, W. Sm. MSS. The general characters of this minute species are visible with¬out difficulty under a magnifying power of 400 or 500 diameters. The frustule is surrounded by a thickened border, and is divided into three more or less equal parts by two straight internal septa or bars not clearly defined externally, on each of which, at about equal distances between the middle and ends, are situated two dark-coloured short vittæ, while at the ends themselves the septa terminate in minute nodules. In the most elongated frustules the coloured vittæ are linear, but they contract in proportion as the frustules diminish in length, until they lose the character of vittæ and resemble nodules. The middle portion of the frustule is blank, while the spaces between the septa and the margin are transversely striated, but it requires a power of at least 600 diameters to bring this character out. The frustules of this diatom are not unfrequently seen in the process of self-division, and one of these I have represented in the plate. It will be perceived that a narrow separation has already taken place, and that in each portion the lateral striae are apparent, while as yet there is only one septum. The next stage in the process would probably be the division of the single septum into two, followed by the development of the blank middle space.

Original Images

Cite This Page:
Kociolek, P. (2011). Diatomella balfouriana. In Diatoms of the United States. Retrieved October 20, 2017, from http://westerndiatoms.colorado.edu/taxa/species/diatomella_balfouriana

Species: Diatomella balfouriana

Contributor: Pat Kociolek

Reviewer: Mark Edlund


Krammer, K. and Lange-Bertalot, H. (1986). Bacillariophyceae. 1. Teil: Naviculaceae. In: Ettl, H., J. Gerloff, H. Heynig and D. Mollenhauer (eds.) Süsswasserflora von Mitteleuropa, Band 2/1. Gustav Fisher Verlag, Jena. 876 pp.

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.

Van de Vijver, B., Ector, L. and Cox, E.J. . (2012). Ultrastructure of Diatomella balfouriana with a discussion of septum-like structures in diatom genera. Diatom Research 27: 213-221. 10.1080/0269249X.2012.720612

Links & ID's

Index Nominum Algarum (INA)

Original INA

California Academy of Sciences (CAS)

Diatomella balfouriana CAS

North American Diatom Ecological Database (NADED)

NADED ID: 28001

Autecology Discussion

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

Diatomella balfouriana

EMAP Response Plots

Diatomella balfouriana

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.