Coscinodiscus wailesii

Author: Micaela Day

Photos:  Zoe Jennings and D. Young

Common Name: Diatom

Size: Diameter is between 300um and 500um

Brief Description: This phytoplankton is apart of the Biddulphiales order and is typically considered as one of the largest marine planktonic diatom genera.

The photo below is the girdle view, viewed from the side of the diatom.

Habitat: It is commonly found in the both the Pacifc Ocean and Atlantic Ocean.  It is thought to be an introduced species to the Atlantic Ocean.  It’s ability to survive long periods in the dark suggests that it may have been introduced to the Atlantic through the emptying of ballast water from ships.

Identifying Features: Cells are solitary, and either disc-shaped, cylindrical or wedge shaped. They have numerous chloroplasts.


Kudela Lab (date unknown) Genus: Coscinodiscus | Diatom. Phytoplankton Identification Retrieved November 16, 2018 from

Hargraves, PE. (June 14, 2011) Indian river lagoon species inventory. Smithsonian Marine Station at Fort Pierce. Retrieved November 16, 2018 from

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