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Karlodinium micrum - various positions of the cell

This is the most recent species added to the list of harmful algae in the Chesapeake Bay. As recently as June 2003, a bloom of 1.5 million cells per milliliter occurred on a tributary to Chesapeake Bay. Go to Maryland Department of Natural Resources for more information about this bloom. 
Karlodinium micrum was previously called Gymnodinium galatheanum. It can be easily mistaken for Gyrodinium estuariale depending on its position when observed. K. micrum is similar in size to G. estuariale at 15µ long by 11µ wide. It can also become a predator and attack organisms up to 80% its size. It is hypothesized that K. micrum can reproduce more quickly when in its predatory state. 

Live photo of feeding frenzy of K. micrum 
cells on small ciliate.

Sample was collected on June 16, 2003 near channel marker 1 in the Chesapeake Bay.


Dinoflagellates