For other uses, see Navicula (disambiguation).
Navicula bullata
Scientific classification
(unranked): SAR
Superphylum: Heterokonta
Class: Bacillariophyceae
Order: Naviculales
Family: Naviculaceae
Genus: Navicula
Bory de Saint-Vincent, 1822
Type species
Navicula tripunctata

Navicula is a genus of boat-shaped algae primarily aquatic, eukaryotic, photosynthetic organisms, ranging in size from a single cell.

Navicula is a diatom. The Navicula genus of diatoms comprises over 1,200 species.[1] Navicula is Latin for "small ship", and also a term in English for a boat-shaped incense-holder.[2]

Navicula play an important role in global ecology, producing about a quarter of all the oxygen within Earth's biosphere and serving as keystone species in the food chain of many environments where they provide a staple for the diets of many aquatic species.


Navicula diatoms are known for their ability to creep about on each other and on hard surfaces such as microscope slides.[3][4][5][6] It is thought that around the outside of the navicula's shell is a girdle of protoplasm that can flow and thus act as a tank track.

See also


  1. "M.D. Guiry in Guiry, M.D. & Guiry, G.M. 2015. AlgaeBase. World-wide electronic publication, National University of Ireland, Galway.; searched on 15 August 2015.". Retrieved 2015-08-15.
  2. Oxford English Dictionary, "Navicula. 3"
  3. Youtube video
  4. Folia Microbiol (Praha). 2007;52(2):127-34. Survival and motility of diatoms Navicula grimmei and Nitzschia palea affected by some physical and chemical factors. Gupta S1, Agrawal SC.
  5. J Microbiol Methods. 2013 Mar;92(3):349-54. doi: 10.1016/j.mimet.2013.01.006. Epub 2013 Jan 18. Semi-circular microgrooves to observe active movements of individual Navicula pavillardii cells. Umemura K1, Haneda T, Tanabe M, Suzuki A, Kumashiro Y, Itoga K, Okano T, Mayama S.
  6. M.A. Harper & J.F. Harper (1967) Measurements of diatom adhesion and their relationship with movement, British Phycological Bulletin, 3:2, 195-207, DOI: 10.1080/00071616700650051

WoRMS. "Navicula". World Register of Marine Species. 

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