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Mastogloia elliptica

(C.Agardh) Cleve in Schmidt et al. 1893      Category: Symmetrical biraphid
BASIONYM: Frustulia elliptica C.Agardh 1824

Mastogloia calcarea


Mastogloia grevillei

LM scalebar = 10 µm = 80 pixels.


Contributor: Loren Bahls - January 2012
Length Range: 17-57 µm
Width Range: 8.1-12.8 µm
Striae in 10 µm: 15-18


Valves are elliptical to linear-elliptical with convex to nearly parallel sides and blunt, obtusely rounded apices. The axial area is narrow, barely wider than the raphe, and the central area is circular. Raphe branches are lateral and sinuous, with weakly expanded proximal ends. Partecta are numerous and all about the same size. Striae consist of single rows of areolae and are radiate throughout. Areolae are coarse and number 16-20 in 10 µm.

Original Description

Basionym: Frustulia elliptica
Author: C.Agardh 1824
Length Range: µm
Striae in 10 µm:

Original Description

Original Images

Cite This Page:
Bahls, L. (2012). Mastogloia elliptica. In Diatoms of the United States. Retrieved May 26, 2018, from

Species: Mastogloia elliptica

Contributor: Loren Bahls

Reviewer: Marina Potapova


Agardh, C.A. (1824). Systema algarum. Literis Berlingianis, pp. 1-312.

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.

Schmidt, A. (-). (1874-1959). Atlas der Diatomaceen-Kunde, von Adolf Schmidt, continued by Martin Schmidt, Friedrich Fricke, Heinrich Heiden, Otto Muller, Friedrich Hustedt. Reprint 1984, Koeltz Scientific Books, Konigstein, 480 plates.

Links & ID's

Index Nominum Algarum (INA)

Original INA

California Academy of Sciences (CAS)

Mastogloia elliptica CAS

North American Diatom Ecological Database (NADED)

NADED ID: 43006

Autecology Discussion

There are 156 records of Mastogloia elliptica in the Montana Diatom Collection, nearly all of them from streams on the Northwestern Great Plains. The mean electrical conductivity of these waters is 3824 μS/cm, mean chloride is 83 mg/L, and mean pH is 8.6. However, in some of these waters such as Salt Creek in Wyoming, conductivity may range up to 45700 μS/cm and chloride content up to 13200 mg/L. Common diatom associates of M. elliptica on the Great Plains include Cymbella pusilla, Mastogloia smithii, Nitzschia microcephala, Navicula peregrina, Tabularia fasciculata, Amphora coffeaeformis, Entomoneis paludosa, and Ctenophora pulchella. Patrick and Reimer (1986) report M. elliptica as a halophilic to mesohalobic taxon characteristic of coastal areas, but also found in inland lakes with some salinity. In Europe, Krammer and Lange-Bertalot (1986) report M. elliptica from brackish waters in coastal areas and from saline inland waters.


Stockade Beaver Creek below Salt Creek, Weston County, Wyoming: home of Mastogloia elliptica.

Credit/Source: Photo courtesy Wyoming DEQ.

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

Mastogloia elliptica

EMAP Response Plots

Mastogloia elliptica

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.