About the Atlas of Cyanobacteria

This Atlas of Cyanobacteria uses high quality digital images to illustrate the diversity of cyanobacteria (blue-green algae) in New England, with supplemental images from the Pacific Northwest.

The Atlas includes images of cyanobacteria that cause HABS (harmful algal blooms), such as Aphanizomenon, Cylindrospermopsis, Dolichospermum, Microcystis, Nodularia, and Planktothrix, as well as other commonly encountered cyanobacteria such as Anabaena, Arthrospira, Chroococcus, Gloeocapsa, Gloeotrichia, Merismopedia, Microcoleus, Nostoc, Oscillatoria, Phormidium, Scytonema, Spirulina, Stigonema, Tolypothrix, Woronichinia, and many others that may aid in the identification of these organisms.

Another purpose of this searchable collection of cyanobacteria is to illustrate some of the complexities in identifying these enigmatic organisms. The images show the blue-green algae in their "normal" textbook forms but also in their aberrations and how they routinely morph into other "species" when the conditions of their environment are less than ideal.

How to browse the images:

Photo credits: