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Diagnostic features

Colonial chlorophytes with flattened, squarish or H- or X-shaped cells linked together in concentric rings to form disc-like colonies. The outermost X-shaped cells give the disc a spiky outline. Chloroplasts green, netlike, each containing one large pyrenoid.  Pediastrum was recently separated into several genera, but the differences between these are subtle.

Typical habitats

Found in the plankton of nutrient-rich lakes and ponds. Often abundant in sewage ponds, particularly during spring and summer.


Kingdom Plantae
Phylum Chlorophyta
Class Chlorophyceae
Order Chlamydomonadales
Family Hydrodictyaceae
Common name Green algae