Playaensis Guide
Credit: Sarah Spaulding
  1. Raphe bordered by prominent longitudinal rib
  2. Valves panduriform with marginal spines
  3. Valves less than 40 µm in length

Frustules of Playaensis are small in size, less than 40 µm in length. Valves are panduriform in shape and the valve margins are ornamented with small, fin-like spines. Striae are uniseriate and punctate. The raphe is bordered on both sides by a longitudinal rib. Internally, this rib is visible as a broad structure. Externally, the surface of valves are ornamented with spherical nodules.

Playaensis is known from northern New Mexico, where two species occur in playa lakes. A species described from Argentina, Navicula toba Maidana and Herbst (1994) appears to belong to Playaensis. Recent reports document additional species present in North America (Kociolek et al. 2014).