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Name derivation:

Possibly "Walled Spinner" (peri- around, dino- spinner)


Peridinium  Ehrenberg  1830;  62 of 987 species descriptions are currently accepted taxonomically (Guiry and Guiry 2013).

Order Peridiniales;  Family Peridiniaceae



Thick, armored cellulose plates external to plasmalemma, often lobed and ornamented. It has visible sutures and a “cingulum” near the cell equator. Generally oval or flattened with a convex dorsal surface and concave ventral surface. Some species have distinctive horns.


Similar genera:

Ceratium has more elongated horns.



Most Peridinium species are found in fresh or brackish waters, and cannot tolerate high salinity levels. The genus is nearly cosmopolitan in hard waters rich in calcium, but can also be found in waters of low pH and low nutrients. Peridinium is especially common in North America. Some species form blooms.




Ehrenberg, C.G.  1830.  Beiträge zur Kenntnis der Organisation der Infusorien und ihrer geographischen Verbreitung, besonders in Sibirien.  Abhandlungen der Königlichen Akademie der Wissenschaften zu Berlin 1830: 1-88, pls I-VIII.

Guiry, M.D. and G.M. Guiry  2013.  AlgaeBase. World-wide electronic publication, National University of Ireland, Galway.  http://www.algaebase.org; searched on 28 February 2013.