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Actinotaenium minutissimum Desmid Species Outer Hebrides

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Phylum: Charophyta   Family: Desmidiaceae

Actinotaenium minutissimum  (Nordstedt) Teiling

A species of slightly acidic conditions in moorland pools and disused peat-cuttings. It’s reported as rare in Europe and would seem to have a north-west bias. The favoured habitat is common in the Outer Hebrides and will probably prove to be not uncommon. However, it is easily overlooked and can be confused with Actinotaenium mooreanum.
Teiling, E. (1954), gives size-ranges for these species: A. minutissimum: 12-19 x 9-11. A. mooreanum: 17-26 x 11-15. Note there is little overlap in length and none in breadth.
Ružicka, J. (1981), gives a greater range: A. minutissimum: (10)-12-18-(21) x (7)-8-13. L/B: 1.3-2-(2.5?). A. mooreanum: 17-28-(30) x 9.5-15. L/B: 1.3-2.1.
Most reports give A. mooreanum as tumid (close to barrel-shaped); a useful distinction. However, A. minutissimum can exhibit tumidity to a lesser extent. Both species can exhibit one or two pyrenoids per cell.

References: 
Ružicka, J. (1981) Die Desmidiaceen Mitteleuropas, Volume 1, Part 2
Teiling, E. (1954) Actinotaenium, genus Desmidiacearum resuscitatum

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