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Diagnostic features

Unbranched filamentous zygnematalean with cylindrical cells, each containing 2 green star-shaped axial chloroplasts. Nucleus often visible between the chloroplasts. Filament is coated with a thin mucilage layer; consequently, strands of Zygnema are soapy to the touch. Conjugation is ladder-like, similar to that in Spirogyra, but this is rarely seen in collected material.

Typical habitats

Common in shallow stagnant or slow-flowing waters


Kingdom Plantae
Phylum Charophyta
Class Zygnemophyceae
Order Zygnematales
Family Zygnemataceae
Common name Green algae