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Name derivation

Gr. γόνυ- angle, aulax- groove (Ref. Gérard Giraud 2021)



Gonyaulax  Diesing  1866;  72 of 109 species descriptions are currently accepted taxonomically (Guiry and Guiry 2013).

Order Gonyaulacales; Family Gonyaulacaceae


Heterodynamic biflagellates with thick cellulosic plates on its wall.Cingulum forms a spiral slightly longer than one turn.  A few spines form on the hypothecal plates.  Forms trichocysts.

Some species are bioluminescent.  Some are also mixotrophic (phagotrophic as well as photosynthetic) (Guiry and Guiry 2013).


Similar genera:

Taxonomic confusion has surrounded some species of Gonyaulax, Protoperidinium, Alexandrium Halim, Amylax Meunier, Protoceratium Bergh, Lingulodinium Wall and Melanodinium Schiller.



Marine  plankton, rarely freshwater (one species).




Guiry, M.D. & Guiry, G.M. 2013.  AlgaeBase. World-wide electronic publication, National University of Ireland, Galway.  http://www.algaebase.org; searched on 24 January 2013.

Diesing, K.M.  1866.  Revision der Prothelminthen. Abtheilung: Mastigophoren. Sitzungsber.  Kaiserl. Akad. Wiss.  Math.-Naturwiss. Cl. Abt 1 52: 287-401.






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