Terpsinoë musica

Ehrenb. 1843      Category: Centric

Tabularia fasciculata


Tetracyclus glans

LM scalebar = 10 µm = 20 pixels.


Contributor: Shelly Wu - June 2013
Diameter: 56-133 µm
Mantle Height: 32-44 µm
Rows of areolae in 10 µm:


Frustules are heavily silicified. Valves are usually triundulate in valve view, with three inflations that are nearly equal in width. The number of inflations decreases with valve size, with the smallest valves possessing only one inflation. Transapical bars, or internal costae, are present between each inflation and near the valve apicies. The valve apicies are rostrate to capitate and possess pseudocelli, with fine pores arranged in apically oriented rows. The external surface of the valves are covered by irregularly shaped ridges with scattered, coarse areolae. The middle inflation contains a single rimoportula, positioned slightly off center. The valve length to breadth ratio ranges from 1.6 to 3.7.

In girdle view, valves are rectangular. The silica bars between the valve inflations are distinct and appear as “musical notes”. A small pseudoseptum is present at the valve ends, near the edge of the valve mantle.

Living cells possess numerous discoid chloroplasts. Cells are linked together in colonies by mucilage secreted by the pseudocelli.

Some of the older literature uses the terms “transapical septa” or “pseudosepta” for the transapical bars.

Original Description

Author: Ehrenb. 1843
Diameter: µm
Rows of areolae in 10 µm:

Original Description

Original Images

Cite This Page:
Wu, S. (2013). Terpsinoë musica. In Diatoms of the United States. Retrieved April 24, 2018, from http://westerndiatoms.colorado.edu/taxa/species/terpsinoe_musica

Species: Terpsinoë musica

Contributor: Shelly Wu

Reviewer: Sam Rushforth


Ehrenberg, C.G. (1843). Verbreitung und Einfluß des mikroskopischen Lebens in Süd- und Nord-Amerika. Abhandlungen der Königlichen Akademie der Wissenschaften zu Berlin, 1841: 291-445, 4 Tafel.

El-Awamri, A.A., Shaaban, A.E.M. and Saleh, A.I. (2007). Floristic study on benthic diatoms of the groundwater seepages at Kobri El-Kobba (Cairo, Egypt). Journal of Applied Sciences Research 3 (12): 1809-1818.

Luttenton, M.R., Pfiester, L.A. and Timpano, P. (1986). Morphology and growth habit of Terpsinoe musica Ehr. (Bacillariophyceae). Castanea 51: 172-182. http://www.jstor.org/stable/4033384

Navarro, J.N., and Lobban, C.S. (2009). Freshwater and marine diatoms from the western Pacific islands of Yap and Guam, with notes on some diatoms in damselfish territories. Diatom Research 24 (1): 123-157.

O'Farrell, I. (1994). Comparative analysis of the phytoplankton of fifteen lowland fluvial systems of the River Plate Basin (Argentina). Hydrobiologia 289 (1-3): 109-117.

Round, F.E., Crawford, R.M. and Mann, D.G. (1990). The Diatoms. Biology and Morphology of the Genera. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 747 pp.

Sterrenburg, F.A.S. (1994). Terpsinoe musica Ehrenberg (Bacillariophyceae, centrales), with emphasis on protoplast and cell division. Aquatic Ecology 28: 1573-5125.

Wehr, J. and Sheath, R.G. (2003). Freshwater Algae of North America: Ecology and Classification. Academic Press, 917 pp.

Wujek, D.L. and Welling, M.L. (1981). The occurrence of two centric diatoms new to the Great Lakes. Journal of Great Lakes Research 7 (1): 55-56.

Links & ID's

Index Nominum Algarum (INA)

Original INA

California Academy of Sciences (CAS)

Terpsinoë musica CAS

NCBI Genbank Taxonomy

Terpsinoe musica NCBI

North American Diatom Ecological Database (NADED)

NADED ID: 68001

Autecology Discussion

Terpsinoë musica is widely distributed and can be found in freshwater to marine habitats (Wehr 2003). Navarro and Lobban (2009) reported T. musica at freshwater sites in Guam. El-Awamri et al. (2007) found T. musica in brackish water that was characterized as hard water in Cairo, Egypt. It has been suggested that T. musica is most frequent in hard waters with warm temperatures (Sterrenburg 1994).

The 2012 Aquatic Microbiology Class of Loyola University New Orleans collected Terpsinoë musica near the Turtle Cove Environmental Research Station in Louisiana. T. musica was identified by C.W. Reimer from plant scrapings from Comal Springs in New Braunfels, Texas (ILL-L-3-20). Luttenton et al. (1986) sampled several substrates in Cummins Spring in Oklahoma and found that T. musica was the most abundant on submerged tree branches, and was abundant on roots and aquatic bryophytes. El-Awamri et al. (2007) examined the surface of filamentous algae such as Cladophora and found specimens present in long chains, which may facilitate attachment on the substrate and resist strong flow of ground water. T. musica was predominant in the winter and frequent in the spring, summer, and autumn (El-Awamri et al. 2007).

T. musica can also be found on other substrates such as rocks. For example, a specimen by Stephen P. Main collected from the National Tropical Botanical Garden falls pool in Kauai illustrated the presence of T. musica along with Pleurosira laevis (ILL-14-10-98-2). It has been previously reported that T. musica was found with Pleurosira laevis in Lake Michigan (Wujek and Welling 1981). Although T. musica is often attached to a substrate, O’Farrell (1994) found T. musica as one of the abundant phytoplankton species in Uruguay River tributaries.

A forensic study assessing algal colonization on hair submerged near Lake Ponchartrain found the presence of T. musica and P. laevis on natural hair and synthetic hair for at least two weeks of submergence (Unpublished data, S. Wu’s personal observation).


Live cell (500x) in valve view.

Credit/Source: Courtesy of S.P. Main.

Colony in girdle view.

Credit/Source: Courtesy of S.P. Main.

Live colony (400x) on a green alga. Collected from Audubon Park Lagoon in New Orleans, LA.

Credit/Source: Image by S. Wu. The specimen is courtesy of Thomas Sevick and Jenny Simon.