Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Show Summary Details
More options …

Botanica Marina

Editor-in-Chief: Dring, Matthew J.

IMPACT FACTOR 2017: 0.989
5-year IMPACT FACTOR: 1.204

CiteScore 2017: 1.00

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2017: 0.297
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2017: 0.454

See all formats and pricing
More options …
Volume 60, Issue 3


Two new epizoic Achnanthes species (Bacillariophyta) living on marine turtles from Costa Rica

Roksana MajewskaORCID iD: http://orcid.org/0000-0003-2681-4304
  • Corresponding author
  • Unit for Environmental Sciences and Management, School of Biological Sciences, North-West University, Private Bag X6001, Potchefstroom 2520, South Africa
  • South African Institute for Aquatic Biodiversity (SAIAB), Private Bag 1015, Grahamstown 6140, South Africa
  • Department of Environmental, Biological and Pharmaceutical Sciences and Technologies, University of Campania “Luigi Vanvitelli”, via Vivaldi 43, 81100 Caserta, Italy
  • orcid.org/0000-0003-2681-4304
  • Email
  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
/ Mario De Stefano
  • Department of Environmental, Biological and Pharmaceutical Sciences and Technologies, University of Campania “Luigi Vanvitelli”, via Vivaldi 43, 81100 Caserta, Italy
  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
/ Luc Ector
  • Luxembourg Institute of Science and Technology (LIST), Environmental Research and Innovation Department (ERIN), 41 rue du Brill, L-4422 Belvaux, Grand-duchy of Luxembourg
  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
/ Federico Bolaños / Thomas A. Frankovich
  • Florida International University, Florida Bay Interagency Science Center, 98630 Overseas Highway, Key Largo, FL 33037, USA
  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
/ Michael J. Sullivan / Matt P. Ashworth / Bart Van de Vijver
  • Botanic Garden Meise, Department of Bryophyta and Thallophyta, Nieuwelaan 38, B-1860 Meise, Belgium
  • University of Antwerp, Department of Biology, ECOBE, Universiteitsplein 1, B-2610 Wilrijk, Belgium
  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
Published Online: 2017-05-16 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/bot-2016-0114


It has been known for a long time that marine mammals, such as whales and dolphins, host a very specific epizoic community on their skin. Whether or not a similar community exists on the carapaces of sea turtles is less studied. The present paper describes two new epizoic diatoms from the genus Achnanthes sensu stricto, Achnanthes elongata and Achnanthes squaliformis, found on the carapaces of nesting olive ridley sea turtles (Lepidochelys olivacea) in Ostional Beach on the Pacific coast of Costa Rica, based upon detailed scanning electron microscopy and comparison with the type material of Achnanthes groenlandica var. phinneyi and Achnanthes pseudogroenlandica. The two taxa appear to be closely related on the basis of their morphological features including long, slender valves, absence of terminal orbiculi, large cribrate areolae and absence of typical costae on the internal virgae of both valves. They can, however, be differentiated from each other by the number of areolae per stria, the position of the rapheless sternum and differences in their length/width ratio.

This article offers supplementary material which is provided at the end of the article.

Keywords: Achnanthes; Bacillariophyta; Costa Rica; epizoic diatoms; marine turtles


  • Bory de Saint-Vincent, J.B.G.M. 1822. Achnanthe. Achnanthes. In: (J.B.G.M. Bory de Saint-Vincent, ed) Dictionnaire classique d’histoire naturelle. Tome premier. Rey et Gravier & Baudoin Fils, Paris. pp. 79–80.Google Scholar

  • Brady, M. 2010. Turtletoms: what diatoms make sea turtles their homes? In: (M. Julius and M. Edlund, eds) Abstracts. 21st International Diatom Symposium. St. Paul, Minnesota United States. 29 August to 3 September, 2010. St. Cloud State University, St. Cloud. p. 84.Google Scholar

  • Cleve, P.T. and A. Grunow. 1880. Beiträge zur Kenntniss der Arctischen Diatomeen. K. svenska Vetensk. Akad. Handl. 17: 1–121.Google Scholar

  • Cleve-Euler, A. 1953. Die Diatomeen von Schweden und Finnland. Teil III. Monoraphideae, Biraphideae 1. K. svenska Vetensk. Acad. Handl. Fjärde Ser. 4: 1–255.Google Scholar

  • Denys, L. 1997. Morphology and taxonomy of epizoic diatoms (Epiphalaina and Tursiocola) on a sperm whale (Physeter macrocephalus) stranded on the coast of Belgium. Diatom Res. 12: 1–18.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Denys, L. and W. Van Bonn. 2001. A second species in the epizoic diatom genus Epipellis: E. heptunei sp. nov. In: (R. Jahn, J.P. Kociolek, A. Witkowski and P. Compère, eds) Lange-Bertalot-Festschrift. Studies on diatoms. Dedicated to Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Horst Lange-Bertalot on the occasion of his 65th birthday. A.R.G. Gantner Verlag K.G., Ruggell. pp. 167–176.Google Scholar

  • Frankovich, T.A., M.J. Sullivan and N.I. Stacy. 2015a. Three new species of Tursiocola (Bacillariophyta) from the skin of the West Indian manatee (Trichechus manatus). Phytotaxa 204: 33–48.Google Scholar

  • Frankovich, T.A., M.J. Sullivan and N.I. Stacy. 2015b. Tursiocola denysii sp. nov. (Bacillariophyta) from the neck skin of Loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta). Phytotaxa 234: 227–236.Web of ScienceGoogle Scholar

  • Frankovich, T.A., M.P. Ashworth, M.J. Sullivan, J. Veselá and N.I. Stacy. 2016. Medlinella amphoroidea gen. et sp. nov. (Bacillariophyta) from the neck skin of Loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta). Phytotaxa 272: 101–114.Web of ScienceGoogle Scholar

  • Giffen, M.H. 1973. Diatoms of the marine littoral of Steenberg’s Cove in St. Helena Bay, Cape Province, South Africa. Bot. Mar. 16: 32–48.Google Scholar

  • Hendey, N.I. 1964. An introductory account of the smaller algae of British coastal waters. Part V: Bacillariophyceae (Diatoms). Her Majesty’s Stationery Office, London. pp. 317.Google Scholar

  • Holmes, R.W. 1985. The morphology of diatoms epizoic on Cetaceans and their transfer from Cocconeis to two new genera, Bennettella and Epipellis. Br. Phycol. J. 20: 43–57.Google Scholar

  • Holmes, R.W. and D.A. Croll. 1984. Initial observations on the composition of dense diatom growths on the body feathers of three species of diving seabirds. In: (D.G. Mann, ed.) Proceedings of the seventh international diatom symposium. Otto Koeltz Science Publishers, Koenigstein. pp. 265–277.Google Scholar

  • Holmes, R.W., S. Nagasawa and H. Takano. 1993. The morphology and geographic distribution of epidermal diatoms of the Dall’s porpoise (Phocoenoides dalli True) in the Northern Pacific Ocean. Bull. Natn. Sci. Mus. Tokyo, Ser. B (Bot.) 19: 1–18.Google Scholar

  • Kopalová, K., R. Zidarova and B. Van de Vijver. 2016. Four new monoraphid diatom species (Bacillariophyta, Achnanthaceae) from the Maritime Antarctic Region. Eur. J. Taxon. 217: 1–19.Google Scholar

  • Lee, S.D., J.S. Park and J.H. Lee. 2013. Taxonomic study of the genus Achnanthes (Bacillariophyta) in Korean coastal waters. J. Ecol. Environ. 36: 391–406.Google Scholar

  • Lowe, R.L., A.R. Sherwood and J.R. Ress. 2009. Freshwater species of Achnanthes Bory from Hawaii. Diatom Res. 24: 327–340.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Lyngbye, H.C. 1819. Tentamen Hydrophytologiae Danicae Continens omnia Hydrophyta Cryptogama Daniae, Holsatiae, Faeroae, Islandiae, Groenlandiae, hucusque cognita, Systematice Disposita, Descripta et iconibus illustrata, Adjectis Simul Speciebus Norvegicis. Hafniae, Copenhagen. pp. 248.Google Scholar

  • Majewska, R., J.P. Kociolek, E.W. Thomas, M. De Stefano, M. Santoro, F. Bolaños and B. Van de Vijver. 2015a. Chelonicola and Poulinea, two new gomphonemoid diatom genera (Bacillariophyta) living on marine turtles from Costa Rica. Phytotaxa 233: 236–250.Google Scholar

  • Majewska, R., M. Santoro, F. Bolaños, G. Chaves and M. De Stefano. 2015b. Diatoms and other epibionts associated with olive ridley (Lepidochelys olivacea) sea turtles from the Pacific coast of Costa Rica. PLoS One 10: e0130351.Google Scholar

  • McIntire, C.D. and C.W. Reimer. 1974. Some marine and brackish-water Achnanthes from Yaquina Estuary, Oregon (U.S.A.). Bot. Mar. 17: 164–175.Google Scholar

  • Medlin, L. and I. Kaczmarska. 2004. Evolution of the diatoms: V. Morphological and cytological support for the major clades and taxonomic revision. Phycologia 43: 245–273.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Nemoto, T. 1956. On the diatoms of the skin film of whales in the Northern Pacific. Sci. Rep. Whales Res. Inst. Tokyo 11: 99–132.Google Scholar

  • Pavlov, A., E. Jovanovska, C.E. Wetzel, L. Ector and Z. Levkov. 2016. Freshwater Mastogloia (Bacillariophyceae) taxa from Macedonia, with a description of the epizoic M. sterijovskii sp. nov. Diatom Res. 31: 85–112.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Ross, R., E.J. Cox, N.I. Karayeva, D.G. Mann, T.B.B. Paddock, R. Simonsen and P.A. Sims. 1979. An amended terminology for the siliceous components of the diatom cell. Nova Hedwigia Beih. 64: 513–533.Google Scholar

  • Round, F.E., R.M. Crawford and D.G. Mann. 1990. The diatoms: Biology and morphology of the genera. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge. pp. 747.Google Scholar

  • Silva, P.C. 1962. Classification of algae. In: (R.A. Lewin, ed) Physiology and biochemistry of algae. Academic Press, New York. pp. 827–837.Google Scholar

  • Tofilovska, S., C.E. Wetzel, L. Ector and Z. Levkov. 2014. Observation on Achnanthes Bory sensu stricto (Bacillariophyceae) from subaerial habitats in Macedonia and comparison with the type material of A. coarctata (Brébisson ex W. Smith) Grunow, A. coarctata var. sinaensis Hustedt and A. intermedia Kützing. Fottea 14: 15–42.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Toyoda, K. and D.M. Williams. 2004. Description of Achnanthes Bory (Bacillariophyceae) based on Kützing’s type slides and materials I: new morphological information on Achnanthes brevipes var. intermedia (Kütz.) Cleve. Diatom 20: 159–165.Google Scholar

  • Toyoda, K., E.J. Cox, P.A. Sims and D.M. Williams. 2005. The typification of Achnanthes Bory based on Echinella stipitata Lyngbye, with an account of the morphology and fine structure of Lyngbye’s species. Diatom Res. 20: 375–386.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Toyoda, K., T. Nagumo and D.M. Williams. 2010. A new marine monoraphid species, Achnanthes pseudolongipes sp. nov., from Miyagi, Japan. Diatom Res. 25: 185–193.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • van der Werff, A. 1955. A new method of concentrating and cleaning diatoms and other organisms. Verh. Int. Ver. Theoret. Limnol. 12: 276–277.Google Scholar

  • Wetzel, C.E., B. Van de Vijver and L. Ector. 2010. Luticola deniseae sp. nov. a new epizoic diatom from the Rio Negro (Amazon hydrographic basin). Vie et Milieu 60: 177–184.Google Scholar

  • Wetzel, C.E., B. Van de Vijver, E.J. Cox, D.C. Bicudo and L. Ector. 2012. Tursiocola podocnemicola sp. nov., a new epizoic freshwater diatom species from the Rio Negro in the Brazilian Amazon Basin. Diatom Res. 27: 1–8.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Witkowski, A., H. Lange-Bertalot and D. Metzeltin. 2000. Diatom flora of marine coasts I. Iconogr. Diatomol. 7: 1–925.Google Scholar

  • World Medical Association. 2013. World Medical Association Declaration of Helsinki, Ethical principles for medical research involving human subjects. J. Am. Med. Assoc. 30: 2191–2194.Google Scholar

About the article

Roksana Majewska

Roksana Majewska is a post-doctoral research fellow at North-West University in South Africa. She graduated in Biological Oceanography (MSc, University of Gdansk, Poland) and Novel Physics Methodologies for Environmental Sciences (PhD, II University of Naples, Italy). Her dissertation research focused on taxonomy, ecology and biogeography of marine Antarctic epiphytic diatoms. She has collaborated on various multidisciplinary projects in subjects including biotechnology, geology, biophysics, nanostructures, pharmacology and medicine. Nevertheless, her primary interests remain in diatom biology and ecology. Her most recent research project deals with the phenomenon of diatom epibiosis and surface associations in marine communities.

Mario De Stefano

Mario De Stefano is an associate professor at the University of Campania “Luigi Vanvitelli” in Italy. He graduated in Biology (MSc) and in Biology of Algae (PhD) from the University of Naples “Federico II” and has been engaged in benthic ecological studies at Stazione Zoologica “A. Dohrn” in Naples. His research interests focus on temperate, tropical and polar diatom life histories, biology of other extremophiles and applications of this resaerch in nanotechnology, optoelectronics, photonics, biosensoring and bioinspired innovative materials and products. These research activities involve several collaborations with national and international scientific institutes, universities and private companies.

Luc Ector

Luc Ector is a botanist and senior researcher at the Luxembourg Institute of Science and Technology (LIST). He has been working on diatoms in rivers, lakes and soils for the last 30 years and was president of the “Association des Diatomistes de Langue Française (ADLaF)”, which organizes annual meetings on diatom taxonomy, ecology and related subjects. Over the last 20 years, he has been organizing and teaching numerous training courses on diatom ecology and taxonomy designed for biologists, technicians and ecologists, contributing to the continuous improvement in the Water Framework Directive implementation in Europe.

Federico Bolaños

Federico Bolaños is a professor of Herpetology at Escuela de Biología at Universidad de Costa Rica, curator of the Herpetology collection at Museo de Zoología, and a member of the International Union for Conservation and Nature (Amphibian Specialist, Conservation Breeding Specialist and Viper Specialist Groups). His dissertation research focused on the natural history and population ecology of the granular poison frog (Oophaga granulifera) and his primary interest involves behavioral ecology of amphibians. He has participated in various taxonomic studies, describing nine species of amphibians and has dedicated most of his career to amphibian and reptile conservation in Latin America.

Thomas A. Frankovich

Thomas A. Frankovich is a marine ecologist working in coastal marine communities relating water quality to seagrass, macroalgal and diatom communities. His dissertation research was focused on seagrass epiphytes and various controlling factors that determine their nature and abundance. His research interests expanded from this base into investigations of seagrass die-off, underwater light availability and diatom taxonomy. Most recently, he has been conducting research describing unique epizoic diatom communities on manatees and sea turtles.

Michael J. Sullivan

Michael J. Sullivan is a Professor Emeritus of Biology at Mississippi State University. He served as the editor of the international journal Diatom Research for 14 years. His primary research interests include the taxonomy and ecology of marine benthic diatoms. Other research areas include the primary productivity of benthic diatom assemblages and their trophic importance in salt marshes and seagrass beds using multiple stable isotope analyses. Recently, his primary interest has shifted to a relatively unexplored group of diatoms: those living epizoically on marine mammals and turtles. This unique flora should yield new insights into diatom biology.

Matt P. Ashworth

Matt P. Ashworth is currently a research associate at the University of Texas at Austin. He received his PhD in Plant Biology from the University of Texas, Austin, in 2013. His research interests revolve around investigating the molecular and ecological machinery behind diversification in diatoms, as well as describing the extent of that diversification. His current work has focused on documenting patterns of benthic diatom diversity in tropical and subtropical habitats where diatoms have been less well studied historically, and because he no longer fits into his 7-mm wetsuit.

Bart Van de Vijver

Bart Van de Vijver is a full-time researcher at the Botanic Garden Meise, Belgium, and a part-time professor at the University of Antwerp, Belgium. His research focuses mainly on the taxonomy, morphology and biogeography of Antarctic freshwater and terrestrial diatoms. Recently, he started working on the taxonomy and composition of epibiotic diatom communities living on marine turtles and whales.

Received: 2016-10-17

Accepted: 2017-03-31

Published Online: 2017-05-16

Published in Print: 2017-05-24

Citation Information: Botanica Marina, Volume 60, Issue 3, Pages 303–318, ISSN (Online) 1437-4323, ISSN (Print) 0006-8055, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/bot-2016-0114.

Export Citation

©2017 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Boston.Get Permission

Supplementary Article Materials

Citing Articles

Here you can find all Crossref-listed publications in which this article is cited. If you would like to receive automatic email messages as soon as this article is cited in other publications, simply activate the “Citation Alert” on the top of this page.

Roksana Majewska, Matt P. Ashworth, Eric Lazo-Wasem, Nathan J. Robinson, Lourdes Rojas, Bart Van de Vijver, and Theodora Pinou
Diatom Research, 2018, Page 1
Sinziana F. Rivera, Valentin Vasselon, Katia Ballorain, Alice Carpentier, Carlos E. Wetzel, Luc Ector, Agnès Bouchez, Frédéric Rimet, and Hideyuki Doi
PLOS ONE, 2018, Volume 13, Number 4, Page e0195770

Comments (0)

Please log in or register to comment.
Log in