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Diagnostic features

Long, narrow rectangular cells linked by mucilage pads to form star-like colonies. The ends of the cells are slightly flared. Chloroplasts are golden-brown, unlike those of Actinastrum (which are green).

Typical habitats

Common in the plankton of many lakes and ponds


Kingdom Chromista
Phylum Ochrophyta
Class Bacillariophyceae
Order Fragilariales
Family Fragilariaceae
Common name Diatoms