Phacus is a
excavates, of the
Euglenozoa (also known as Euglenophyta), characterized by its flat, leaf-shaped structure, and rigid
cytoskeleton known as a pellicle. These eukaryotes are mostly green in colour, and have a single flagellum that extends the length of their body. They are morphologically very flat, rigid, leaf-shaped, and contain many small discoid chloroplasts.
Phacus are commonly found in
freshwater habitats around the globe and include several hundred species that continue to be discovered to this day.
 Currently, there are 564
species of Phacus in the database, but only 171 have been accepted taxonomically.
 The genus was established in 1841 and since then major discoveries have led it to become an extremely large group containing hundreds of species with varied physiological characteristics. Contemporary studies agree that Phacus is not
monophyletic or holophyletic, but is actually
polyphyletic. Unfortunately, the
phylogenetic relationships within the genus are currently poorly understood.