This genus is photosynthetic, and reproduces sexually and asexually.
Cells are elongated and motile, sliding along each other, in stacked colonies. Cells are rectangular in girdle view (when in colonies), and lanceolate in valve view. Raphe system is slightly keeled and runs from pole to pole. Two large plate-like chloroplasts are present, one near each end of the cell. The nucleus is located centrally. Cells are yellow-brown in colour. Fibulae are strong, and the valve surface is covered in transverse parallel structures called striae.
Length (apical axis): 70 - 200 μm
Width (trans-apical axis): 5 - 8 μm
Height (Pervalvar axis): 5 - 10 μm
Fibulae: 7 - 9 in 10 μm
Striae: 20 - 21 in 10 μm