home nav buttonphytoplankton nav buttonglossary nav button
left arrow right arrow




Genus: Gonyaulax | Dinoflagellate


Common West Coast species: G. spinifera, G. polyedrum

Order: Gonyaulacales

Family: Gonyaulacaceae


Click on illustration to enlarge

Description: Armored, ovoid to fusiform cells with chloroplasts. Some species form benthic cysts. Distinguished by descending cingulum up to 6x girdle width.

Cell Size: Width = 25-136um

Distribution: Widespread throughout the world's oceans.

Interesting fact: Gonyaulax spinifera can produce toxins.

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.