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Diagnostic features

Unicellular chlorophyte with long, slender, slightly curved cells pointed at both ends. There is a row of circular pyrenoids in the single chloroplast (which may fragment in older cells), spaced along the length of the cell. Can be easily confused with Ankistrodesmus (which has less obvious pyrenoids and is usually more curved), or slender forms of Closterium (which always has a clear area in the cell centre, separating the two distinct chloroplasts, one in each half of the cell).

Typical habitats

Found in the plankton of nutrient-rich lakes and ponds. Can be abundant in sewage ponds at any time of year.


Kingdom Plantae
Phylum Chlorophyta
Class Trebouxiophyceae
Order Chlorellales
Family Oocystaceae
Common name Green algae