Gomphosphenia lingulatiformis

(Lange-Bertalot and Reichardt) Lange-Bertalot 1995      Category: Asymmetrical biraphid
BASIONYM: Gomphonema lingulatiforme Lange-Bertalot and Reichardt in Lange-Bertalot 1993

REPORTED AS: Gomphonema brasiliense (Wallace 1960, pg. 5, Pl. 2, Figs. 5A-D) | Gomphonema brasilense (Patrick and Reimer 1975, pg. 143, Pl. 15, Figs. 15-17) 

Gomphosphenia grovei


Gyrosigma acuminatum

LM scalebar = 10 µm = 80 pixels.


Contributor: Pat Kociolek | Ian Bishop - January 2017
Length Range: 12-50 µm
Width Range: 5.5-7.0 µm
Striae in 10 µm: 14-18


Valves at the higher end of the size range are linear-clavate with undulate margins, while smaller valves are clavate with smooth margins. The headpole is narrowly rounded to nearly acute and the footpole is narrowly rounded. The axial area is lanceolate, narrow at the poles, and expanded towards the center. Stigmata are absent. The raphe is straight, filiform, and the external proximal raphe ends are dilated. The central nodule is distinct and round. The striae are formed by a single areola, with an additional 1-2 isolated areolae towards the axial area. The striae are radiate, becoming parallel near the footpoles. Septa and pseudosepta are absent.

The names Gomphonema brasiliense and Gomphosphenia lingulatiformis have been confused in the literature, as well as on the Diatoms of the US flora. To clarify the nomenclature:

  1. In 1878, Grunow published a new species, Gomphonema brasiliense, based on material collected from Brazil, Cuba and India. No holotype was designated, nor did his description include an illustration.

  2. In 1880, Van Heurck published two line drawings in his Atlas, labeled “G. (abbreviatum) var. brasiliense”, from Brazil and Cuba (T. 25, Fig. 17a-b).

  3. In 1985, Krammer and Lange-Bertalot proposed that the three syntype populations for G. brasiliense were not conspecific and lectotypified specimens from the Brazilian material, which was the first collection mentioned (and therefore had priority) in Grunow 1878. They published light micrographs of the lectotype population that strongly differ from Van Heurck’s line drawing. Krammer and Lange-Bertalot state that Van Heurck’s drawings derive from the Cuba population, which they considered G. grovei var. lingulatum.

  4. Gomphonema brasiliense and Gomphosphenia lingulatiformis taxon pages were opened in September 2011, documenting what appeared to be the same taxon under two different names. These two names for one taxon are incorrect, and the problem needs to be rectified.

The taxon G. brasiliense has not been confirmed in North America. Specimens illustrated by Patrick and Reimer (1975) and Wallace (1960), identified as G. brasilisense, were both revisited and were determined to conform to G. lingulatiformis. Furthermore, NAWQA and NRSA samples collected in rivers in the southeast U.S. with count records for G. brasiliense were reexamined in December 2016. For all reexamined slides, the relevant gomphonemoid diatom population on the slide was morphologically dissimilar to G. brasiliense sensu KLB (lectotype from Brazil). In contrast, these valves bear resemblance to the Van Heurck Atlas line drawing (T. 25, Fig. 17a-b), and more specifically like Gomphosphenia lingulatiformis (Lange-Bertalot and Reichardt) Lange-Bertalot 1995, a taxon described from France. We suggest that the Cuban syntype population of G. brasiliense is either G. lingulatiformis or a morphologically similar Gomphosphenia, and that this was the material upon which the Van Heurck line drawing is based.

Original Description

Basionym: Gomphonema lingulatiforme
Author: Lange-Bertalot and Reichardt in Lange-Bertalot 1993
Length Range: µm
Striae in 10 µm:

Original Description

Original Images

Cite This Page:
Kociolek, P., and Bishop, I. (2017). Gomphosphenia lingulatiformis. In Diatoms of the United States. Retrieved January 22, 2017, from http://westerndiatoms.colorado.edu/taxa/species/gomphosphenia_lingulatiformis1

Species: Gomphosphenia lingulatiformis

Contributor: Pat Kociolek | Ian Bishop

Reviewer: Marina Potapova


Kociolek, J.P. and Kingston, J.C. (1999). Taxonomy, ultrastructure, and distribution of some gomphonemoid diatoms (Bacillariophyceae: Gomphonemataceae) from rivers in the United States. Canadian Journal of Botany 77: 686-705. 10.1139/cjb-77-5-686

Kociolek, J.P., Yang, J.-R. and Stoermer, E.F. (1988). Taxonomy, ultrastructure and systematic position of the Gomphonema grovei M. Schm.-species complex (Bacillariophyceae). Nova Hedwigia 47: 145-158.

Lange-Bertalot, H. (1993). 85 Neue taxa und uber 100 weitere neu definierte Taxa erganzend zur Subwasserflora von Mittleuropa. Bibliotheca Diatomologica 27, 454 p. Cramer, Berlin, Stuttgart.

Lange-Bertalot, H. (1995). Gomphosphenia paradoxa nov. spec. et nov. gen. und Vorschlag zur Lösung taxonomischer Probleme infolge eines veränderten Gattungskonzepts von Gomphonema (Bacillariophyceae). Nova Hedwigia, 60(1-2): 241-252.

Links & ID's

Index Nominum Algarum (INA)

Original INA

California Academy of Sciences (CAS)

Gomphosphenia lingulatiformis CAS

North American Diatom Ecological Database (NADED)

NADED ID: 209003

Autecology Discussion

This diatom is relatively common throughout rivers of the southeast (USGS 2015 SESQA survey). In contrast, it was reported in only a few sites in western surveys (EPA 2000-2004 Western EMAP).

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

Gomphosphenia lingulatiformis

EMAP Response Plots

Gomphosphenia lingulatiformis

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.


January 18, 2017 - Closure of synonymous G. brasiliense page and update of G. lingulatiformis page

Changes were made on January 18, 2017 to this page, which originally was published on September 20, 2011, to correct the conflicting taxon pages for Gomphonema brasiliense and Gomphosphenia lingulatiformis. Gomphosphenia lingulatiformis images were replaced with better quality images (including SEMs), and the G. brasiliense page was closed, as that taxon is South American in origin and has not been confirmed in North America (see Observations Section). The images now presented are considered to better reflect the G. lingulatiformis morphological concept and range of size. Gomphonema brasiliense has also been added to the “reported as” field in the updated G. lingulatiformis page. The archived version of the page for G. brasiliense is available upon request. - Ian Bishop