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Diagnostic features

Roughly boat-shaped in valve view, although long narrow ends may be present in some species; valves identical, each possessing a raphe (genus is biraphid). Raphe lies beneath fibulae on one edge of the valve.  Raphes are on opposite sides on each valve (unlike Hantzschia, in which they are on the same side; however, this may be difficult to discern).

Typical habitats

Lakes, streams and rivers (planktonic and benthic). Planktonic species can be abundant in sewage ponds, particularly during winter and spring.


Kingdom Chromista
Phylum Ochrophyta
Class Bacillariophyceae
Order Bacillariales
Family Bacillariaceae
Common name Diatoms