Cell size (L x B): ca. 30 x 30 µm



Desmid of the month
January 2003

Staurastrum brachiatum

S. brachiatum is a striking desmid species.  Its characteristic cell shape is mainly determined by its prominent processes. Presumably as those processes somewhat remind of the joystick of a computer . our webmaster selected S. brachiatum as a symbol to navigate back to the homepage of our website!

Chain of four cells of Staurastrum brachiatum

The species under discussion is characteristic of an acidic, oligotrophic environment. Probably as a result of atmospheric pollution, in the Netherlands S. brachiatum has become a rare taxon in the course of the last decades, reason to place it on the Red List of threatened species. Happily, in recent years it is encountered more frequently again, possibly due to an improved quality of precipitation.

Cells of S. brachiatum tend to stick to each other after cell division so that couples or even chains may be formed (see also the website Gallery of Desmids).