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Diagnostic features

Unicellular desmid with elongated cells tapering at both ends. Cells usually crescent shaped, rarely straight. There are always two chloroplasts containing numerous pyrenoids, separated in the middle of the cell by a clear area that contains the nucleus (which is often visible).

Typical habitats

Common in lakes, ponds and slow flowing streams. Can be abundant in sewage ponds at any time of year, though less frequently in winter.


Kingdom Plantae
Phylum Charophyta
Class Zygnematophyceae
Order Desmidiales
Family Closteriaceae
Common name Green algae