Classification: Eukarya, Charophyta, Charophyceae

Genera: Coleochaete, Chaetosphaeridium, Awadhiella


Description: Microscopic algae found living on solid surfaces in still or slow moving fresh waters. All have a characteristic sheathed hair on at least some cells. Composed of branched filaments, the thalli may be discoid and composed of tightly apressed filaments, obviously filamentous and flat or cushion-shaped, or (in Chaetosphaeridium) resembling colonies of unicells because of the thin, clear walls connecting the filament.

Key Literature:

Plate from Brebisson 1844, kindly provided by Mike Wynne.


Coleochaete orbicularis Coleochaete irregularis


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Development of this page supported in part by a grant from the National Science Foundation (# DEB-9978117)