Skeletonema Greville, 1865, nom. et typ. cons.

Holotype species: Skeletonema costatum (Greville) Cleve

Original publication and holotype designation: Greville, R.K. (1865). Descriptions of new and rare diatoms. Series XVI . Transactions of the Microscopical Society, New Series, London 13: 43-57 [last page as "75"], 2 pls [pls V, VI].

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Description: Emended by Sarno & Zingone (Sarno et al., 2005: 154-156, fig. 1, A-N). Cells joined by long marginal processes to form filaments, which appear in the light microscope like short beads joined by numerous fine threads. Plastids disc-like or cup-shaped. Living in the coastal marine plankton. Valves circular; valve face convex to flat; mantles deep. Valves with a prominent network of costae externally, becoming pseudoloculate near the margin. Internally with distinct cribra on the flat or slightly ribbed surface. A single ring of processes occurs around the top of the mantle. These are closely associated with a ring of fultoportulae, the external openings of which are short tubes hidden in the bases of the processes. The processes are semi-circular in cross-section and expand at their apices to form 'knuckles' which interlock with the processes from the adjacent cell; they are sometimes much longer than the cell and can interlock with either one or two processes of the sibling valve. Occasional valves produce flattened spinulose processes and on these there is also a central rimoportula, with a tubular external opening. Occasional rimoportulae also occur around the valve mantle. The internal endings of both the fultoportulae and rimoportulae are very small though typical in form. Girdle composed of a split valvocopula and numerous, finely porous and delicate copulae, each with a distinct pars media. In intact filaments the new sibling valves and processes are covered by the copulae whilst the processes linking old pairs of valves are exposed.

The most recent alteration to this page was made on 2023-10-16 by M.D. Guiry.

Taxonomic status: This name is of an entity that is currently accepted taxonomically.

Gender: This genus name is currently treated as neuter.

Most recent taxonomic treatment adopted: Stoermer, E.F. & Julius, M.L. (2003). Centric Diatoms. In: Freshwater Algae of North America. (Wehr, J.D. & Sheath, R.G. Eds), pp. 559-594. San Diego: Academic Press.

Comments: Occurs in coastal waters throughout the world where it can be an extremely common diatom. Many ecological studies have been made on it and, because it also grows easily and rapidly in culture, it has been used for physiological studies. Several species are reported in various oceanic regions but all these need re-investigation. In addition several fossil species have been described. The original description by Greville (1865: 43) applies to a fossil species (S. barbadense) but the genus has been sonserved with a new type (S. costatus), an extant species.

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Some of the descriptions included in AlgaeBase were originally from the unpublished Encyclopedia of Algal Genera, organised in the 1990s by Dr Bruce Parker on behalf of the Phycological Society of America (PSA) and intended to be published in CD format. These AlgaeBase descriptions are now being continually updated, and each current contributor is identified above. The PSA and AlgaeBase warmly acknowledge the generosity of all past and present contributors and particularly the work of Dr Parker.

Descriptions of chrysophyte genera were subsequently published in J. Kristiansen & H.R. Preisig (eds.). 2001. Encyclopedia of Chrysophyte Genera. Bibliotheca Phycologica 110: 1-260.

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M.D. Guiry in Guiry, M.D. & Guiry, G.M. 16 October 2023. AlgaeBase. World-wide electronic publication, National University of Ireland, Galway.; searched on 15 June 2024

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