Distribution in scandinavian waters
|Maximum length: 0,17 mm. Compare
with the size of a hair.
Appearance: Dinophysis-dinoflagellates are colourless or yellow to brown in colour with occasional pink, red or bluish patches inside the flattened cells. The surface of the cell consists of plates that build an armour with a coarse pattern and distinctive pores. The surface is also broken up by grooves that contain two mobile outgrowths (flagellae). Both the crosswise and lateral grooves are of such a size that they resemble collars and wings. None of the cells rise higher than the upper collar.
Misc: Dinophysis-dinoflagellates live mainly in saltwater all over the world, but are even found in fewer numbers in the Gulf of Bothnia. With the help of its flagellae these organisms can swim. They can also catch their food directly from the water and produce nutrients with photosynthesis.
Shellfish, that is, certain snails, mussels and crustaceans that have consumed dinophysis-dinoflagellates can became poisonous. People who have consumed poisonous mussels, can within a few hours suffer from unpleasant, but not dangerous digestive problems. This is known as Diarrhetic Shellfish Poisoning (DSP). One experiences stomach pains, vomiting and diarrhoea, but surpasses after a few days. To avoid DSP, most mussels are examined before they are sold.
Classification: Dinophysis-dinoflagellates are members of the dinoflagellate group under the "protists". The protists group is not a well defined group, as it is often used for organisms that are not bacterias, fungi, plants or animals. In the picture above Dinophysis norvegica is seen. There are other flagellates that resemble dinophysis-dinoflagellates in Swedish waters, i.e. Phalacroma rotundatum.