Gonyaulax spinifera (Claparède & Lachmann) Diesing, 1866

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Gonyaulax spinifera

A living cell and one of several types of cysts associated with G. spinifera (BF, courtesy of Anna Godhe)

Photographer/artist Mats Kuylenstierna

Additional image information

Gonyaulax spinifera
Mats Kuylenstierna
Copyright holder
Maria Kuylenstierna
University of Gothenburg, Marine botany
Bengt Karlson
A living cell and one of several types of cysts associated with G. spinifera (BF, courtesy of Anna Godhe)
Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported
Image galleries
Kuylenstierna, Skagerrak-Kattegat, Dinoflagellate cysts


IDs in other systems
Tropic type
Other remarks
There are several different types of cysts associated with the motile cell in this species-complex (Wall & Dale 1968b, Dale 1983)
Distribution: Worldwide
Harmfulness, IOC
This species is included in the IOC-UNESCO Taxonomic Reference List of Harmful Micro Algae.
Life form
Length 24-50 µm, width 30-40 µm
Resting spore
Dale, B. 1983. Dinoflagellate resting cysts: benthic plankton. - In. Survival strategies of the algae, (ed. G.A. Fryxell). Cambridge Univ. Press, Cambridge. pp. 69-136.
Dodge, J. D. 1982. Marine Dinoflagellates of the British Isles. Her Majesty’s Stationery Office, London. 303 pp.
Dodge, J. D. 1989. Some revisions of the family Gonyaulacaceae (Dinophyceae) Based on a scanning electron microscope study. Botanica Marina. 32: 275-298.
Hansen, G. & Larsen, J. 1992. Dinoflagellater i danske farvande. In: Thomsen, H. A. (ed.) Plankton i de indre danske farvande. Havforskning fra Miljøstyrelsen, Copenhagen, pp. 45-155.
Wall, D. & Dale, B.1968b. Modern dinoflagellate cysts and evolution of the Peridiniales. Micropaleontology.14: 265-304.


Species Gonyaulax spinifera
Author (Claparède & Lachmann) Diesing 1866
Class Dinophyceae
Trophy AU
Geometric shape cone + half sphere
Formula p/12*d^2*(h+d/2)
Size class 1 2 3
Unit cell cell cell
Size range 30 35 40
Height(h), µm 35.0 35.0 40.0
Diameter(d1), µm 30.0 35.0 40.0
No. of cells/counting unit 1 1 1
Calculated volume, µm3 11 775 16 828 25 120
Comment 6 6 6
Calculated Carbon pg/counting unit 1 436 2 008 2 925


Olenina, I., Hajdu, S., Edler, L., Andersson, A., Wasmund, N., Busch, S., Göbel, J., Gromisz, S., Huseby, S., Huttunen, M., Jaanus, A., Kokkonen, P., Ledaine, I. and Niemkiewicz, E. 2006 Biovolumes and size-classes of phytoplankton in the Baltic Sea HELCOM Balt.Sea Environ. Proc. No. 106, 144pp. (PDF),

Change History

  • 2011-09-26 14:14:11 Bengt Karlson - Updated media metadata for Gonyaulax spinifera_1.gif
  • 2011-09-25 16:10:38 Bengt Karlson - Updated media metadata for Gonyaulax spinifera_2.gif
  • 2011-09-25 16:09:23 Bengt Karlson - Added media: Gonyaulax spinifera_2.gif