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Published: 2022-09-30

Descriptions of three new diatom species in the genus Eunotia (Eunotiaceae, Bacillariophyta) from the Eocene Arctic

Connecticut College, Botany Department, New London, CT, U.S.A. 06320
Connecticut College, Botany Department, New London, CT, U.S.A. 06320
Connecticut College, Botany Department, New London, CT, U.S.A. 06320
acidic ecology freshwater Giraffe Pipe new species raphe Algae


Eunotia is the largest and most diverse genus within the family Eunotiaceae, a primarily freshwater group of diatoms often found in dilute, acidic and humic-stained environments. Species in this genus are characterized by being asymmetric along their apical axis, symmetric about the transapical axis, and with a simple and reduced raphe system situated largely on the mantle and restricted to the apical ends of the valve. In addition, Eunotia taxa have one or more rimoportula per valve, usually close to the apex. Because of their reduced raphe system, coupled with the presence of rimoportulae, Eunotia and its relatives are often viewed as the oldest lineage of raphe-bearing diatoms. To date, the oldest remains of Eunotia species have been reported from the early to middle Eocene, including from the Giraffe Pipe locality, an ancient Eocene fossil site located in northern Canada near the Arctic Circle. Rocks from this site contain a large and diverse assemblage of Eunotia taxa. The purpose of this study is to begin to characterize this assemblage with descriptions of three new species, Eunotia giraffensis sp. nov., E. petasum sp. nov. and E. pseudonaegelii sp. nov. The new species, representing the longest specimens found at the Giraffe Pipe locality, each possess characteristics common to Eunotia making them easily assigned to this genus. Because the Eunotia lineage was well established by the early part of the Eocene, it is likely to be significantly older.


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