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chaetoceros chain

Genus: Chaetoceros | Diatom

Common West Coast species: C. didymus, C. decipiens, C. debilis, C. convolutus, C. constrictus,  C. compressus, C. radicans

Order: Biddulphiales

Family: Chaetocerotaceae


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Description: Cells form chains that are coiled, curved or straight. Long setae emerge from corners of cells. A few solitary species are found in Monterey Bay. One of the largest genera of diatoms, roughly 400 species, most of which are marine. Some species form resting spores and/or auxospores.

Cell Size: Width (apical axis) varies with species, roughly ranges from <10 um to 50um.

Distribution: Chaetoceros spp. are often dominant components of the phytoplankton community in Monterey Bay, and they are widespread throughout the world’s oceans.

IFCB images







This Phytoplankton Identification page is affiliated with CeNCOOS and HABMAP, and is maintained by the Kudela Lab at the University of California Santa Cruz. Details about site history, funding, and sources of information and images can be found here.