Bizarre Tetrahedron diatom from bedwell bayfront park

I drove a fellow lab-mate to collect samples from the bedwell bayfront park. I did some collections myself and observed the most bizarre diatom that I have ever seen. I’m calling it a tetrahedron but not sure if that’s right. If anyone can help id this  beast,that would be much appreciated!

I first saw this from the side and thought it was a helminth egg, until it started to rotate. See video! 

Here are a bunch of other diatoms and images from the site so you have a feel for the site and biodiversity around. 

5 Comments Add yours

  1. Manu Prakash says:

    Wonderful. It for sure is a diatom from its gliding motility; and chloroplasts. But unlike any flat diatoms; this is indeed very 3D. @Janet in our community will identify this; but my hunch is the picture attached below. See diatom in 2nd column; 4th row.

    Do you have more videos of this. It might be interesting to image it more while it’s alive – and do a SEM quickly to further look at it. The geometry is so stricking.


  2. laksiyer says:

    @Saad, quite a find that diatom. I agree with Manu on what it might be. Will look up. The other ones in chains are cyanobacteria, like Nostoc/Anabaena. You can clearly see the heterocyst, the N2 fixing cell. Amazing.

  3. Saad Bhamla says:

    @laks – thank you!

    @manu – yes, i have more samples. Will bring to lab.

  4. Saad Bhamla says:

    Posting here for future diatom ID – this is a good table of diatom species with images..

  5. Janice says:

    Hi Saad,

    Your bizarre tetrahedron diatom is actually one that is on its side. Diatoms can be found in valve (face) view and girdle (side) view. If the diatom on its side is the same one you have in the first picture, then it is a Surirella. The long narrow diatom is a naviculoid. The green chains are probably cyanophytes (perhaps Oscillatoria).


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