Stephanodiscus hantzschii

Grunow in Cleve and Grunow 1880      Category: Centric

Stephanodiscus binderanus


Stephanodiscus hantzschii f. tenuis

LM scalebar = 10 µm = 80 pixels.


Contributor: David R.L. Burge | Mark Edlund - September 2016
Diameter: 11.8-20.3 µm
Rows of areolae in 10 µm: 6-9 fascicles based on circumferential count


Valves are centric with a flat valve face. Central fultoportulae are absent. Areolae 22 to 25 in 10 µm, easily resolvable in the light microscope. Areolae are arranged in radiate striae, grouped in fascicles. The fascicles are uniseriate at the valve center and become triseriate near the mantle. Several areolae may be grouped into a central annulus. Each interfascicle terminates in a prominent spine. Valve diameter and number of fascicles (37 to 45 per valve) is variable, although not directly related smaller valves do tend to have higher fascicle density. A single rimoportula is present near the valve face mantle junction at the same level of focus as the spine. The external opening of the rimoportula is a tube in the position of a spine, replacing a spine and appearing slightly shorter than a spine.

Stephanodiscus hantzschii is morphologically variable (Håkansson and Stoermer 1984, Kobayasi et al. 1985, Håkansson and Bailey-Watts 1993). The nominate form is described here, and has more heavily silicified valves, straighter fascicles and lower areola density compared to S. hantzschii fo. tenuis. Note, however, that S. hantzschii fo. tenuis was suggested to be an ecophenotype produced as a result of silica limitation (Stoermer et al. 1979).

Original Description

Author: Grunow 1880
Diameter: 9-17 µm
Rows of areolae in 10 µm: 6-9

Original Description

Original Images

Cite This Page:
Burge, D., and Edlund, M. (2016). Stephanodiscus hantzschii. In Diatoms of the United States. Retrieved April 23, 2018, from

Species: Stephanodiscus hantzschii

Contributor: David R.L. Burge | Mark Edlund

Reviewer: Euan Reavie


Anderson, N.J. (1990). The biostratigraphy and taxonomy of small Stephanodiscus and Cyclostephanos species (Bacillariophyceae) in a eutrophic lake, and their ecological implications. British Phycological Journal 25(30: 217-235.

Cleve, P.T. and Grunow, A. (1880). Beiträge zur Kenntniss der Arktischen Diatomeen. Kongliga Svenska-Vetenskaps Akademiens Handlingar, 17(2): 121 pp., 7 pls.

Håkansson, H. and Bailey-Watts, A.E. (1993). A contribution to the taxonomy of Stephanodiscus hantzschii Grunow, a common freshwater planktonic diatom. Diatom Research 8(2): 317-332. 10.1080/0269249X.1993.9705265

Håkansson, H. and Stoermer, E.F. (1984). Observations on the type material of Stephanodiscus hantzschii Grunow in Cleve & Grunow. Nova Hedwigia 39:477-495.

Hall, R.I. and Smol, J. (1992). A weighted—averaging regression and calibration model for inferring total phosphorus concentration from diatoms in British Columbia (Canada) lakes. Freshwater Biology 27(3): 417-434.

Kobayasi, H., Inoue, H., & Kobayashi, H. (1985). Fine structure and taxonomy of the small and tiny Stephanodiscus (Bacillariophyceae) species in Japan. 2 Stephanodiscus hantzschii Grun. form. tenuis (Hust.) Håk et Stoermer. The Japanese Journal of Phycology, 33, 233-238.

Reavie, E.D. and Kireta, A.R. (2015). Centric, Araphid and Eunotioid Diatoms of the Coastal Laurentian Great Lakes. Bibliotheca Diatomologica 62:1-184.

Reavie, E.D. and Smol, J.P. (1998). Freshwater diatoms from the St. Lawrence River. Bibliotheca Diatomologica Band 41. J. Cramer, Berlin. 137 pp.

Stoermer, E.F., Kingston, J.C., & Sicko-goad, L. (1979). The morphology and taxonomic relationships of Stephanodiscus binderanus var. oestrupii (A. Cl.) A. Cl. Nova Hedwigia, Beih. 64: 65-78.

Stoermer, E. F. and Yang, J. J. (1969). Plankton diatom assemblages in Lake Michigan. Univ. Michigan, Great Lakes Res. Div. Spec. Rep. No. 47, 168 pp.

Links & ID's

Index Nominum Algarum (INA)

Original INA

California Academy of Sciences (CAS)

Stephanodiscus hantzschii CAS

NCBI Genbank Taxonomy

Stephanodiscus hantzschii NCBI

North American Diatom Ecological Database (NADED)

NADED ID: 64010

Autecology Discussion

Stephanodiscus hantzschii is found in the plankton of eutrophic rivers (Reavie and Smol 1998) and lakes (Håkansson and Bailey 1993). Reavie and Kireta (2015) found that among the Laurentian Great Lakes, S. hantzschii was most abundant in riverine and protected wetlands of Lakes Erie and Ontario, and served as a strong indicator of high phosphorus. Stephanodiscus hantzschii can form chain-like colonies (Håkansson and Bailey 1993) linked together by long spines. Stephanodiscus hantzschii is widely regarded as an indicator species dominant in eutrophic lakes (Stoermer and Yang 1969, Anderson 1990, Hall and Smol 1992).


Distribution of S. hantzschii in rivers of the continental U.S. based on the National Water Quality Assessment program. Retrieved September 9, 2016.

Credit/Source: USGS BioData

Distribution of S. hantzschii in rivers of Alaska based on the National Water Quality Assessment program. Retrieved September 9, 2016.

Credit/Source: USGS BioData