Three new Everglades diatom species named

Recently, my colleagues and I named three new Everglades diatom species after much morphological analyses and taxonomic detective work. While the Everglades diatom community may not be as species-rich as lakes in more temperate environments, there are many species waiting to receive a proper name and publication. The reason that so many species continue to be called "species number 17" or "looks like this other species but not quite" is because there just has not been the kind of focused taxonomic research here in subtropical and tropical places in the Western hemisphere. Contrast this to the hundreds of years of research on European diatoms. The Everglades diatom community offers great opportunities for graduate students, like me, to investigate and describe new species!

Everglades periphyton with four live cells of Mastogloia calcarea at 1000x magnification

For the FIU News article, click here:
http://news.fiu.edu/2013/09/algae-researcher-names-three-new-species-in-the-everglades/66963

For additional pictures of the new species, see below:
All scanning electron micrographs are credited to Dr. Bart Van de Vijver. Solid lines on the images indicate 10 micrometers (0.01 millimeters).

Mastogloia calcarea - light micrographs of a single specimen at two different focus levels and scanning electron micrographs of two specimens showing the exterior and interior of the cell. This diatom is the most dominant species in Everglades periphyton. It has long been mistaken for Mastogloia smithii or M. smithii var. lacustris because original material for these two taxa were not accessible for accurate comparison with the Everglades taxon.
 
Mastogloia pseudosmithii - light micrographs of a single specimen at two different focus levels and scanning electron micrographs of two specimens showing the exterior and interior of the cell. This diatom is similar to Mastogloia smithii because of its elliptical shape but has completely different patterning on the exterior and has completely different internal ultrastructure.

Envekadea metzeltinii - light micrographs and scanning electron micrographs of four specimens showing different sizes and the exterior and interior of the cell. This diatom is part of a recently erected genus identified by the sigmoid shape of the raphe (slit that goes through the center) and the irregularly shaped areolae (holes on the cell surface).

The Mastogloia species will be published in the journal Diatom Research.
 
Envekadea metzeltinii was published in the journal Phytotaxa  and can be accessed through the following doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.11646/phytotaxa.115.1.2
For even more detail about this species, visit the Diatoms of the United States website:
 
 

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