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Genus: Dinophysis | Dinoflagellate


Monterey Bay species: D. acuminata, D. fortii, D. tripos, D. rotundata, D. caudata

Order: Dinophysiales

Family: Dinophysiaceae


Click on illustration to enlarge

Description: Armored, laterally flattened, oval-shaped cells with small flat or rounded epitheca.  Hypotheca is usually about ¾ of the cell length. Wide girdle bounded by lists. Chloroplasts present or absent.

Cell Size: Width = 30-60um, Length = 22-105um

Distribution: Widespread throughout the world's oceans - can be oceanic, planktonic, benthic, or neritic.

Interesting Facts: Some species produce okadaic acid and dinophysistoxins, which cause diarrhetic shellfish poisoning.


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.