Melting snow fields populated by aplanozygotes of the genus Chloromonas (Chlamydomonadales, Chlorophyta) are found in polar and alpine habitats. In the High Tatra Mountains (Slovakia), cells causing blooms of brownish-red snow designated as Scotiella tatrae Kol turned out to be genetically (18S, ITS1 and ITS2 rDNA, rbcL) very closely related to Chloromonas nivalis (Chodat) Hoham et Mullet from the Austrian Alps. Therefore, Sc. tatrae is transferred into the latter taxon and reduced to a subspecies as Cr. nivalis subsp. tatrae. Both exhibit a similar photosynthetic performance, thrive in similar habitats at open sites above timberline, but differ in astaxanthin accumulation and number of aplanozygote cell wall flanges. In a field sample of Cr. nivalis subsp. tatrae, polyunsaturated fatty acids formed nearly 50 % of total lipids, dominating in phospholipids and glycolipids. Cr. nivalis subsp. tatrae represents likely a variation of a common cryoflora species with distinct morphology.