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Surirella ovalis

Bréb. 1838      Category: Surirelloid
BASIONYM: Surirella ovalis Bréb. 1838
SYNONYM(S): Surirella ovata var. ovalis (Bréb.) Kirchner | Suriraya ovalis (Bréb.) Pfitzer 

Surirella minuta


Surirella stalagma

LM scalebar = 10 µm = 40 pixels.


Contributor: Jonathan English - February 2011
Length Range: 14-75 µm
Width Range: 11-35 µm
Striae in 10 µm: 14-17


The valves are extremely variable throughout their vegetative cell cycle. Their length ranges from 16 to 61.5µm and their width from 11 to 35µm. The valves are all heteropolar and the poles vary according to valve length. The longest valves, between 41 and 75µm, had two cuneate apices, one being broader than the other. The middle length valves, between 31 and 34µm, had one cuneate apex and one broadly rounded apex. The smallest valves, between 14 and 27µm, had two broadly rounded apices, one being broader than the other. The intermediate sizes showed transitional states. Most of the valve faces were concentrically undulate with one or two undulations. The costae on the valve face are relatively coarse at 14-17 in 10 µm and every third or fourth costa in the margin is raised above the others, corresponding to the fibulae on the interior of the valve. The fibulae are marginal and are 5-6 in 10 µm.

Under SEM, the striae between the costae become visible. There are two rows of slit areolae irregularly orientated between each of the costae. Near the valve margin where the concentric undulation occurs and the raised costae begin, the striae split into as many as five rows. These striae lead into an areolated depression, or pseudoinfundibulum.

Krammer and Lange-Bertalot (1987) note on the type material that there is a single portula on the mantle between the fibulae. They also were not able to observe the areolae on the type material due to possible acidic degradation.

Original Description

Basionym: Surirella ovalis
Author: Bréb. 1838
Length Range: µm
Striae in 10 µm:

Original Description

S. ovalis Nob. Falaise. Se rapproche de la précédente, mais elle n’a point ses quatre ailes profondément cannelées.

Original Images

Cite This Page:
English, J. (2011). Surirella ovalis. In Diatoms of the United States. Retrieved May 22, 2018, from

Species: Surirella ovalis

Contributor: Jonathan English

Reviewer: Rex Lowe


Brébisson, A. de. (1838). Considérations sur les Diatomées et essai d’une classification des genres et des espèces appartenant à cette famille. Brée l'Ainé Imprimeur-Libraire, Falaise. 22 pp.

Compère, P. (1986). Algues récoltées par J. Léonard dans le désert de Libye. Bulletin du Jardin Botanique National de Belgique 56(1/2):9-50.

Drum, R.W. and Pankratz, H.S. (1964). Pyrenoids, raphes, and other fine structure in diatoms. American J. Bot. 51(4): 405-418.

Gleser, S.I., Makarova, I.V., Moiseeva, A.A. and Nikolaev, V.A. (1988). Diatomovye vodorosli SSSR. Iskpaemye I sovremennye. Tom II, vyp. 1. Pyxidiculaceae, Thalassiosiropsidaceae, Triceratiaceae, Thalassiosiraceae. Leningrad, “Nauka”: 115 pp.

Granetti, B. (1984). Le diatomee del Lago Trasimeno: sistematica e ecologia. Riv. Idrobiol. 23(1): 112 pp.

Krammer, K. and Lange-Bertalot, H. (1987). Morphology and taxonomy of Surirella ovalis and related taxa. Diatom Research 2: 77-95. 10.1080/0269249X.1987.9704986

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.

Pickett-Heaps, J. D., D. H. Tippit, and R. Leslie. (1988). Light and electron microscopic observations on the cell division in two large pennate diatoms, Hantzschia and Nitzschia. II. Ultrastructure. Eur. J. Cell Biol. 21: 12-27.

Links & ID's

Index Nominum Algarum (INA)

Original INA

California Academy of Sciences (CAS)

Surirella ovalis CAS

NCBI Genbank Taxonomy

Surirella ovalis NCBI

North American Diatom Ecological Database (NADED)

NADED ID: 65043

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

Surirella ovalis

EMAP Response Plots

Surirella ovalis

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.