Nitzschia palea

(Kützing) W. Smith 1856      Category: Nitzschioid
BASIONYM: Synedra palea Kützing 1844
SYNONYM(S): Homoeocladia palea (Kützing) Kuntze 1898 

Nitzschia oregona


Nitzschia palea var. debilis

LM scalebar = 10 µm = 80 pixels.


Contributor: Pat Kociolek - September 2011
Length Range: 12-42 µm
Width Range: 3-4 µm
Striae in 10 µm: 36-38


Valves are lanceolate with sides parallel and tapering rapidly at the poles, terminating with subcapitate apices. Fibulae are distinct, with a distinct central nodule and number 11-13 in 10 µm. Striae barely visible in LM.

Original Description

Basionym: Synedra palea
Author: Kützing 1844
Length Range: µm
Striae in 10 µm:

Original Description

Original Images

Cite This Page:
Kociolek, P. (2011). Nitzschia palea. In Diatoms of the United States. Retrieved October 22, 2016, from

Species: Nitzschia palea

Contributor: Pat Kociolek

Reviewer: Kalina Manoylov


Hustedt, F. (1930). Bacillariophyta (Diatomeae). In: Die Subwasser Flora Mitteleuropas. (A. Pascher, ed.),10, Gustav Fischer, Jena. 468 pp.

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.

Smith, W. (1856). Synopsis of British Diatomaceae. John Van Voorst, London 1856. 2: 107pp., pls. 32-60, 61-62, A-E.

Van Heurck, H. (1881). Synopsis des Diatomées de Belgique. Atlas. Ducaju & Cie., Anvers. pls 31-77.

Links & ID's

Index Nominum Algarum (INA)

Original INA

California Academy of Sciences (CAS)

Nitzschia palea CAS

NCBI Genbank Taxonomy

Nitzschia palea NCBI

North American Diatom Ecological Database (NADED)

NADED ID: 48025

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

Nitzschia palea

EMAP Response Plots

Nitzschia palea

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.