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microscopic photo of Protoperidinium leonis

Slightly rotated view of Protoperidinium leonis. Photo credit: Teri King, WSG

Phytoplankton of the month — January 2020

Protoperidinium leonis

Protoperidinium leonis is a solitary and medium-sized dinoflagellate ranging from about 50-95 μm in size. Proportionally, the cell is typically as long as its width or slightly longer. Its basic geometric shape is rhombic. The cell has an end that splits into two short antapical spines. These cells can be easily misidentified as P. obstusum. Protoperidinium leonis are distributed widely, coastal and oceanic, and in temperate to tropical waters.

SoundToxins, a diverse partnership of Washington state shellfish and finfish growers, environmental learning centers, Native tribes, and Puget Sound volunteers, is a monitoring program designed to provide early warning of harmful algal bloom events in order to minimize both human health risks and economic losses to Puget Sound fisheries.

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