ⓘ Chaetoceros is probably the largest genus of marine planktonic diatoms with approximately 400 species described, although a large number of these descriptions a ..

                                     

ⓘ Chaetoceros

Chaetoceros is probably the largest genus of marine planktonic diatoms with approximately 400 species described, although a large number of these descriptions are no longer valid. It is often very difficult to distinguish between different Chaetoceros species. Several attempts have been made to restructure this large genus into subgenera and this work is still in progress. However, most of the effort to describe species has been focused in boreal areas, and the genus is cosmopolitan, so there are probably many tropical species still undescribed. Some species are known from the fossil record, from the Quaternary of Sweden. It is the type genus of its family.

                                     

1. Description

The genus Chaetoceros were first described by Ehrenberg in 1844. Cells are more or less rectangular in girdle view. Cells are usually elliptical in valve view. Opposite setae of adjacent cells touch near their origin.

Chaetoceros is primarily a marine genus, but there are also accounts of species within inland waters of the United States. It is a type of centric diatom that contains a frustrule or cell wall composed of silica that contain long, thin spins setae. The spines connect the frustules together creating a colony of cells. Cells colonies can form chains that are coiled, straight, or curved. Cell size can range from

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