Cyclotella petenensis and Cyclotella cassandrae, two new fossil diatoms from Pleistocene sediments of Lake Petén-Itzá, Guatemala, Central America

Christine Paillès, Florence Sylvestre, Jaime Escobar, Alain Tonetto, Sybille Rustig, Jean Charles Mazur

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


While analyzing the fossil diatom flora in one of the longest paleolimnological records (core PI-6) from Lake Petén-Itzá, lowland Guatemala, we encountered Aulacoseira Thwaites, Cyclotella (Kützing) and Discostella (Cleve & Grunow) Houk & Klee species appearing successively in the record. Among them, two new species that are assigned to the genus Cyclotella are described herein. Cyclotella petenensis sp. nov. is characterised by a coarse striation marked by a shadow line and a tangentially undulate central area with an arc of central fultoportulae. Cyclotella cassandrae sp. nov. has an elliptically shaped valve, coarse striae and a scattered ring of central fultoportulae in the central area. Classification and differences to similar taxa in the genus Cyclotella are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)247-263
Number of pages17
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jun 7 2018

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We thank the many agencies and individuals in Guatemala who assisted this project. They include: Universidad del Valle, Universidad San Carlos, Ministerio de Ambiente y Recursos Naturales, Consejo Nacional de Areas Protegidas, Instituto de Antro-pologiìWa e Historia, Autoridad Para el Manejo y Desarrollo Sostenible de la Cuenca del Lago Peteìn-Itzaì, Wildlife Conservation Society, Alex Arrivillaga, Cathy Lopez, Margaret Dix, Michael Dix, Margarita Palmieri, David, Rosita, & Kelsey Kuhn, and the staff at La Casa de Don David, Lico Godoy, Tony Ortiz, Franz Sperisen, Luis Torunþo, Julian Tesucuìn, Melisa Orozco, Silja Ramirez, Gabriela Alfaro, and Jacobo Blijdenstein. We also thank the personnel of DOSECC (Drilling, Observation and Sampling of the Earth's Continental Crust) who were instrumental in obtaining the cores. We are indebted to Anders Noren, Kristina Brady and Amy Myrbo of LacCore (National Lacustrine Core Facility), Department of Earth Sciences, University of Minnesota-Twin Cities for their expertise in core acquisition, curation and sampling. This project was funded by grants from the US National Science Foundation, the International Continental Scientific Drilling Program, the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, and the Swiss National Science Foundation. The financial support of Institute for Research and Development (IRD) is acknowledged. We are grateful to Mark Brenner and Jason Curtis for their helpful review. The authors also thank anonymous reviewers who help to improve the manuscript. First presented as a poster at 24th International Diatom Symposium in Quebec City, Canada, 21-26 August 2016.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 Magnolia Press.

Copyright 2018 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


  • Cyclotella
  • Diatom
  • Guatemala
  • Lake Petén-Itzá
  • Pleistocene

Continental Scientific Drilling Facility tags

  • GLAD9


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