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Diagnostic features

Blue-green isopolar cyanobacterial filaments encased in a yellow-brown mucilage sheath. False branching is characteristically at right-angle bends, either forming a loop (prior to division) or two parallel branches at right angles to the original filament.  Heterocytes cylindrical to barrel-shaped, intercalary, located throughout the filaments. Organelles absent from the cells, but granules/vesicles common. 

Typical habitats

Most of our records are from good quality streams.


Kingdom Bacteria
Phylum Cyanobacteria
Class Cyanophyceae
Order Nostocales
Family Scytonemataceae
Common name Cyanobacteria