Nitzschia sigma

(Kützing) W. Smith 1853      Category: Nitzschioid
BASIONYM: Synedra sigma Kützing 1844

Nitzschia semirobusta


Nitzschia sinuata

LM scalebar = 10 µm = 80 pixels.


Contributor: Pat Kociolek - September 2011
Length Range: 30-200 µm
Width Range: 4.0-13.0 µm
Striae in 10 µm: 19-24


In girdle view, the frustule is distinctly sigmoid. In valve view, depending on the position of the specimen, valves may be distinctly sigmoid. Or, valves may also be linear-lanceolate in the middle of the valve, with the ends curved in opposite directions. The apices are small and capitate. The keel of the raphe is strongly exccentric. Fibula density is 7-12 in 10 µm. Valves lack an expanded central gap in the fibulae.

Original Description

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

Original Description

Original Images

Cite This Page:
Kociolek, P. (2011). Nitzschia sigma. In Diatoms of the United States. Retrieved October 28, 2016, from

Species: Nitzschia sigma

Contributor: Pat Kociolek

Reviewer: Kalina Manoylov


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

Smith, W. (1853). Synopsis of British Diatomaceae. John Van Voorst, London 1853. 89 pp., pls 1-31.

Links & ID's

Index Nominum Algarum (INA)

Original INA

California Academy of Sciences (CAS)

Nitzschia sigma CAS

NCBI Genbank Taxonomy

Nitzschia sigma NCBI

North American Diatom Ecological Database (NADED)

NADED ID: 48087

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 sigma

EMAP Response Plots

Nitzschia sigma

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.