Taxonomy and nomenclature

Some contemporary studies suggest that the genus Chlamydomonas is polyphyletic; if this view is accepted, the genus will be split, and some names will change. A number of morphological species will interbreed in culture, and sometimes this observation leads to merging of species, especially when the partners differ little in macromolecular sequence. For the vast majority of the 600 or so species described, the species concept is based entirely on light microscopy.

The commonly used species name Chlamydomonas eugametos is not "nomenclaturally correct". Chlamydomonas eugametos Moewus, 1931 is considered a synonym of C. sphagnophila Pascher, 1930; the earlier name has priority and therefore must be used. However, nearly all "C. eugametos" strains maintained in collections belong either to C. moewusii Gerloff or C. hydra Ettl, not to C. sphagnophila.

The epithets reinhardi, reinhardii and reinhardtii all refer to the same species, C. reinhardtii Dangeard.

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