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Name derivation:

“Hollow Sphere” (From the Greek  koilos -hollow, and sphaira, dim. sphairion –ball, sphere)


Coelosphaerium  Nägeli  1849;  15 of 25 species descriptions are currently accepted taxonomically (Guiry and Guiry 2013).

Order Chroococcales;  Family Gomphosphaeriaceae


Spherical to oval colonies of cells held in a single outer layer of the mucilage. Usually colorless or black in the presence of gas vesicles.

Similar genera:

Microcystis, with which it often occurs, also produces gas vesicles that gives it the same black color; however Coelosphaerium colonies are made of a single layer of cells, while Microcystis colonies are not hollow.


Freshwater plankton worldwide


Nägeli, C.  1849).  Gattungen einzelliger Algen, physiologisch und systematisch bearbeitet.  Neue Denkschriften der Allg. Schweizerischen Gesellschaft für die Gesammten Naturwissenschaften 10(7): i-viii, 1-139, pls I-VIII. 

Graham L. E. and L. W. Wilcox. 2000. Algae. Prentice Hall

Guiry, M.D. and G.M. Guiry  2013.  AlgaeBase. World-wide electronic publication, National University of Ireland, Galway. http://www.algaebase.org; searched on 04 September 2013.

Jaeger E. C. 1972. A source-book of biological names and terms. 3rd Ed. Charles C. Thomas Publisher

Wehr J.D. and R. G. Sheath. 2003. Freshwater Algae of North America. Academic Press (Imprint of Elsevier)