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Genus: Akashiwo| Dinoflagellate

Common West Coast species: A. sanguinea

Order: Gymnodiniales

Family: Gymnodiniaceae


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Description: Unarmored cells, dorsoventrally flattened.  Epitheca is broadly conical and the hypotheca is bilobed. Large, central nucleus and numerous chloroplasts that radiate from cell center. Cells can be deeply pigmented or clear. May form resting spores surrounded by a mucus halo.

Cell Size: Length 40-80um

Distribution: Cosmopolitan in temperate to tropical coastal and estuarine waters.

Synonyms: Akashiwo sanguinea = Gymnodinium sanguineum, Gymnodinium splendens

Interesting Facts: Forms extensive blooms that color the water red, often with Ceratium furca. Can be associated with fish and seabird kills.

IFCB images

This Phytoplankton Identification page is affiliated with CeNCOOS and HABMAP, and is maintained by the Kudela Lab at the University of California Santa Cruz. Details about site history, funding, and sources of information and images can be found here.