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Name derivation

"Double Whirler" -- Double Amphi- whirler or spinner –dinium



Amphidinium  Claperède and Lachmann  1859 (Guiry and Guiry 2012);  95 of 205 species descriptions are currently accepted taxonomically (Guiry and guiry 2013).


Order Gymnodiniales;  Family Gymnodiniaceae

Currently 74 species (out of 205 descriptions) are recognized.

Some species have been transferred to new genus Togula (Jørgensen et al. 2004).  Other sand-dwelling heterotrophic species have been transferred to new genus Ankistrodinium (Hoppenrath et al. 2012) and Testudodinium (Horiguchi et al. 2012.



Can be small to large, 10-100 µm unarmored (athecate) free-living cell, predominantly motile, sometimes enclosed in a hyaline cyst. The cells can be globular to fusiform, and is compressed dorsoventrally

The cell contains one large, lobed chloroplast with a central structure

Reproduction is both sexual and asexual.

Nutrition is mixogrophic including both heterotrophy and autotrophy.  Amphidinium wigrense, contains triple membrane-bound bodies we have termed "blue-green chloroplasts" (Wilcox and Wedemayer 1985).

Similar genera:

Togula; Ankistrodinium, Testudodinium


Marine.  Known to cause red tides when cells congregate in high density.


Toxic, produces cytotoxis 25-membered amphidinolide C3 (Kubota et al.  2010).



Claparède, É. and J. Lachmann  1859.  Études sur les infusoires et les rhizopodes.  Mémoires de l'Institut National Genevois 6: 261-482.

Guiry, M.D. and G.M. Guiry  2012.  AlgaeBase. World-wide electronic publication, National University of Ireland, Galway. http://www.algaebase.org; searched on 15 November 2012.

Flø Jørgensen, M., S. Murray,and N. Daugbjerg , 2004.  A new genus of athecate interstitial dinoflagellates, Togula gen. nov., previously encompassed within Amphidinium sensu lato: Inferred from light and electron microscopy and phylogenetic analyses of partial large subunit ribosomal DNA sequences. Phycological Research 52(3), 284-299.

Hoppenrath, M., S. Murray, S.F. Sparmann, and B.S. Leander  2012.  Morphology and molecular phylogeny of Ankistrodinium gen. nov. (Dinophyceae), a new genus of marine sand-dwelling dinoflagellates formerly classified within Amphidinium.  J. Phycol. 48(5):1143-1152.

Horiguchi, T., M. Tamura, K. Katsumata, and A. Yamaguchi  2012.  Testudodinium gen. nov. (Dinophyceae), a new genus of sand-dwelling dinoflagellates formerly classified in the genus Amphidinium.  Phycol. Research. (Abstract online).

Kubota, T., A. Suzuki, M. Yamada, S. Baba, and J. Kobayashi  2010.  Amphidinolide C3, a new cytotoxic 25-membered macrolide from marine dinoflagellate Amphidinium sp.  Heterocycle 82(1):333-338.

Wilcox, LW. and G.J. Wedemayer  1985   Dinoflagellate with blue-green chloroplasts derived from an endosymbiotic eukaryote. Science 227: 192–194.







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