Photo of Protoperidinium oceanicum by Dr. Vera Trainer and Brian Bill, NOAA

Protoperidinium oceanicum
Photo credit: Dr. Vera Trainer and Brian Bill, NOAA

Phytoplankton of the month — February 2015

Protoperidinium oceanicum

Protoperidinium oceanicum are large dinoflagellates, that are 200-300µm long and 150um wide. They have long horns extruding from the top and bottom of the cell. Red, heart-shaped cysts form within the organism, which makes it perfect as the February phytoplankton of the month!

P. oceanicum are found in oceanic, costal, temperate, and tropical waters.

For more information see:
A Taxonomic Guide to Some Common Marine Phytoplankton, by Rita Horner (Biopress Ltd. 2002)

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