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Taxonomic and nomenclatural history of Fragilaria (Bacillariophyceae)

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The genus Fragilaria Lyngb. 1819 originally comprised eight species of filamentous diatoms, six of which were marine whereas two were freshwater. Subsequently, two of the eight species have been referred to Melosira C. Agardh 1824 (nom. cons.), two to Grammatophora Ehrenb. 1840, and one each to Diatoma Bory 1824 (nom. cons.) and Striatella C. Agardh 1832. Of the remaining species, Fragilaria pectinalis (O. F. Müll.) Lyngb. (Conferva pectinalis O. F. Müll.), from fresh water, was designated lectotype by Boyer in 1927. The last species, F. striatula Lyngb., from marine habitats, can be accommodated by Grammonema C. Agardh 1832. Because authentic material of Conferva pectinalis has not been found and Müller's published figures are not identifiable, the application of that name, and hence the application of the generic name Fragilaria, has remained uncertain. Fragilaria capucina Desm., which has been assumed to include the material in Lyngbye's hand, has served as a de facto lectotype. However, current studies by Tuji & Williams (2006) reveal that the type of F. capucina is not conspecific with the species to which that name has traditionally been applied. They therefore have proposed an epitype for C. pectinalis that will ensure the continued application of the generic name Fragilaria in the present-day sense.
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Keywords: DIATOMA; EUNOTIA; FRAGILARIA; FRAGILARIOPSIS; GRAMMONEMA; HIMANTIDIUM; MELOSIRA; ODONTIDIUM; STRIATELLA; TYPIFICATION

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: University Herbarium, University of California, Berkeley, California 94720-2465, U.S.A. 2: Department of Biology, University of Oslo, P.O. Box 1066, Blindern, N-0316 Oslo 3, Norway

Publication date: 2006-02-01

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