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Diagnostic features

Pseudofilamentous desmid with adjacent cells joined in a slightly offset way, forming a spirally twisted chain. The filament is often embedded in mucilage.  Each cell is comprised of 2 semi-cells, each of which contains an axial chloroplast with pyrenoids.  In end view the cells may have 2, 3, or 4 processes depending on the species. Pairs of filaments may conjugate in the manner of Spirogyra.

Typical habitats

Found in slow flowing and acidic waters


Kingdom Plantae
Phylum Charophyta
Class Zygnemophyceae
Order Desmidiales
Family Desmidiaceae
Common name Green algae