Showing posts from March, 2016

Diatom of the month – March 2016: Mastogloia calcarea

by Luca Marazzi*

‘Who’ is it and where does it live? This diatom is a symmetric biraphid species, i.e. it has a raphe on either valve allowing it to move sliding on substrata. Mastogloia calcarea was ‘discovered’ / described by Sylvia Lee during her PhD research at Evelyn Gaiser’s lab at FIU; it is similar toM. smithii and M. lacustris, common freshwater species in this predominantly marine genus. This new species typically lives in karstic wetlands of the Caribbean region (Mexico, Jamaica and Belize) and in the Florida Everglades, as compared to the temperate zones where M. smithii and M. lacustris live and are found1.

Mastogloia calcarea in valve (top) and girdle (bottom) view(; scalebar = 10 µm.
Original drawing of Mastogloia smithii labeled 341 and 341 β (source: Smith 1856)2.
Why are we studying it?