About glossary terms

Diatom terms are specialized and help diatomists describe structures, particularly of the diatom frustule. Terms, however, are often confusing, redundant or simply outdated. In this glossary, we attempt to present terms in a clear manner.

Many diatom terms are specific to a particular taxonomic group, such as to a family or genus. For example, partecta are only found in Mastogloia and carinoportulae are only found in Orthoseira.

 In other cases, the same term is applied to different structures in different genera; the annulus of Thalassiosira is a different structure than the annulus of Geissleria.

Some terms are use across genera for structures that are not homologous. For example, the stigma of Gomphonema is a different structure than the stigma of Luticola.

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