Diatom and non-diatom (soft-algae) taxa names

Sets of names for analysis of algal samples in the USGS National Water Quality Assessment (NAWQA) program, EPA National Aquatic Resource Surveys (NARS), and ANS projects

A common set of names is important for maximizing taxonomic consistency among analysts and comparability among datasets. Academy phycologists and collaborators, with support from the USGS, US EPA, and several state agencies, have developed and maintained a set of taxa names for use in agency sponsored projects and elsewhere. The current set of names (2011) has evolved from initial sets over the past 15-20 years. Many phycologists at several institutions have contributed to expanding and updating this set of names. Much of this work was supported by the USGS and documented in USGS NAWQA Workshop reports.

The first set of names, or “taxonomic systems”, was developed in 1994. Names have been updated about every 3 years, typically as part of USGS NAWQA Taxonomic workshops. Recent sets of names are provided and described below. More...

The sets of names prior to 2011 were last updated on June 1, 2011.  Previous versions can be downloaded here.  The ANSP/NAWQA/EPA 2011 names are generated dynamically from the Phycology Section database.

View Online or Download
2011 - Current
Diatom Taxa - ANSP/NAWQA/EPA 2011 .csv .tab Synonym updates, 2007 to 2011 names: Diatoms
Non-Diatom Taxa - ANSP/NAWQA/EPA 2011 .csv .tab Synonym updates, 2007 to 2011 names: Non-Diatoms
All Taxa - ANSP/NAWQA/EPA 2011 .csv .tab Synonym updates, 2007 to 2011 names: Both

Diatom Taxa - ANSP-2007 .csv .tab --                                                           
Non-Diatom Taxa - ANSP-2007 .csv .tab --                                                           
All Taxa - ANSP-2007 .csv .tab --                                                           

Diatom Taxa - NAWQA 2004-start .csv .tab --                                                           
Non-Diatom Taxa - NAWQA 2004-start .csv .tab --                                                           
All Taxa - NAWQA 2004-start .csv .tab --                                                           

Diatom Taxa - NAWQA 2001-start .csv .tab --                                                           
Non-Diatom Taxa - NAWQA 2001-start .csv .tab --                                                           
All Taxa - NAWQA 2001-start .csv .tab --                                                           

All years
Complete set of all NADED
taxa names
Includes all names ever used in
counts entered in the NADED and
Diatom Paleolimnology Data Cooperative
(DPDC) databases

Download Everything
2001 through 2011
All sets of taxa names (.csv and .tab files) .zip file

Synonyms of ANSP/NAWQA/EPA 2011 taxa names

Here is a table of nomenclatural and taxonomic synonyms of ANSP/NAWQA/EPA 2011 taxa names used in previous ANSP taxonomic systems, starting with NAWQA 1997-start names. We have tried to include only nomenclatural synonym updates to newer names, but some synonyms are corrections and either not true synonyms or not fully equivelent. These will be removed as they are identified. For a comprehensive list of diatom synonyms, consult the CalAcad Catalogue of Diatom Names.

The sources of synonyms are taxonomic change system tables that document updates in names from one taxonomic system to the next. The name of the most recent taxonomic system (e.g., NAWQA 2001) in which a taxon was in at the time it was updated, and the number of the change system documenting that update are included in the table below. Also, clicking on a taxon’s NADED ID opens a page with information on that taxon in the NADED database.


2011 The ANSP/NAWQA/EPA 2011 taxonomy updates names in the 2007 taxonomic system. In addition, it includes taxa found in NLA and NRSA samples by analysts outside the ANSP, and excludes undescribed taxa from the 2007 system that are not documented with publicly available images. This is the most current set of names.

2007 The ANSP/NAWQA/EPA 2007 taxonomic system was initiated in 2007 to include taxa found by ANSP analysts and collaborators in projects other than NAWQA, including EPA’s National Lake Assessment (NLA) and National Rivers and Stream Assessment (NRSA). It includes all of the taxa in the NAWQA 2004-start system plus the additional taxa. It was used for samples analyzed between 2007 and August 2011, with some exceptions. This set of names was used, as of August 2011, in the USGS Biodata Database. Soft algae changes from the 2004 to 2007 system are documented in the Twentieth NAWQA Taxonomic Workshop Report.

2004 The NAWQA 2004-start taxonomic system contains names used for NAWQA samples collected between 2005 and 2010. Changes from the 2001 to 2004 system are documented in the Fifteenth and Seventeenth NAWQA Taxonomic Workshop Reports.

2001 The NAWQA 2001-start taxonomic system contains names of taxa found in USGS NAWQA samples collected from 2002 to 2004. It is an update of the NAWQA 1997-start set of names. Taxonomic updates and rationale are described in the Eighth and Ninth NAWQA Taxonomy Workshop Reports.

In addition to NAWQA sample analysis, taxa names come from non-NAWQA USGS projects, the US EPA NLA and NRSA, several state-level surveys, and various other projects. In addition to ANSP staff, several other analysts contributed taxa and documentation, including Kalina Manoylov, Jan Stevenson’s lab at Michigan State University (Ionel Ciguela, Jason Zalack, Julianne Heinlein), Pat Kociolek’s lab at the California Academy of Sciences, and Gina LaLiberte and Paul Garrison in the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. ANSP analysts included Eduardo Morales, Babs Rinkel, Ling Ren, Mihaela Enache, and Sarah Mays. Marina Potapova, head of the ANSP Diatom Herbarium, contributed a great deal of time and effort reviewing and evaluating, and providing correct nomenclatural information. She performed most of the updating of 2007 taxa names and coordinated contributions and reviews from other diatomists. Jennifer Beals helped considerably in this effort. Participants at USGS NAWQA and EPA / ANSP workshops also contributed significantly; Rex Lowe, Paul Hamilton, Mark Edlund and Peter Siver made particularly important additions, as well as the people mentioned above.

Names and authorities are intended to be as consistent with the Calacad Catalogue of Diatom Names as possible. Exceptions are the “in” additions to authorities. Many undescribed taxa are documented in the ANSP Algae Image Database. Many are also documented in NRSA image datasets.

The "Synonym updates" tables include nomenclatural and taxonomic synonyms.

Categories of names in the downloadable files of 2007 and 2011 names

Categories are based on level of taxonomic uncertainty. Entries in each field are yes or no. They can be used to limit selection of names to certain categories (e.g., only taxa with published descriptions) or to sort names by selected categories. More...

Recommended citations

  • For ANSP/NAWQA/EPA 2011 names:
Academy of Natural Sciences and collaborators. 2011 - present year. ANSP/NAWQA/EPA 2011 diatom and non-diatom taxa names. Names of algae taxa used beginning August 2011 for analysis of samples collected by USGS NAWQA, EPA NARS, and ANSP PCER projects. Phycology Section, Patrick Center for Environmental Research, Academy of Natural Sciences, Philadelphia, PA. Retrieved [date] from the Taxa names page at http://diatom.ansp.org/nawqa/Taxalist.aspx.
  • For ANSP-2007 names:
Academy of Natural Sciences and collaborators. 2005 - 2010. ANSP/NAWQA/EPA 2007 diatom and non-diatom taxa names. Names of algae taxa found in samples collected by USGS NAWQA (2005 - 2010), EPA NARS (2007-2009), and ANSP PCER projects (2007- August 2011). Phycology Section, Patrick Center for Environmental Research, Academy of Natural Sciences, Philadelphia, PA. Retrieved [date] from the Taxa names page at http://diatom.ansp.org/nawqa/Taxalist.aspx.