Antarctic Marine Protist Keys

 Imojen Pearce & Fiona Scott


We have developed a series of  interactive taxonomic keys for identification of  Antarctic Marine Protists. Our prime directive is to enable users to identify protists to species level and the keys are designed for users possessing a basic knowledge of microplankton morphology.

 The keys have been developed using the Lucid ® platform and have user friendly interfaces with pictorial guides to taxonomic  features. The keys contains links to online ‘fact sheets’ that contain detailed notes on taxonomy, morphology and distribution for each species and are based on Antarctic Marine Protists (eds. Scott & Marchant, 2005). By using light or electron microscopy, protists can be quickly identified using  features available, transcending limitations associated with traditional paper based dichotomous keys. For each group we include links to useful references and on-line resources. Images below provide a quick link to keys for each class.

DINOFLAGELLATE  Figs 3.4 a-d Dinophysis meterori, D. operculoides, D. ovum and D. punctata Figs 3.2 a-b Prorocentrum antarcticum, P. balticum and P. compressum  Gymnodinium 1_DPT DIATOMS_pennate  centric Astrolabe 0809R4030 stub 17 005_FS SILICOFLAGELLATE CHRYSOPHYTE  PARMALES  CILIATE TINTINNID_sml CHOANOFLAGELLATE Figs 13.2 a-d  Acanthoeca, Acanthoecopsis and Bicosta species  PRASINOPHYTE Prasinophyte_Mantoniella Davis 13-14 0_RvdE  Figs 11.1 a-g Anisoma and Eutreptiella species A CRYPTOPHYTE  haptophyte 193080 044_DPT Chrysochromulina sp Astrolabe R00607s9 011_Ruth Eriksen  COCCOLITHOPHORES HOL Calcidiscus leotoporus leptoporus  CYANOPHYTE UNCERTAIN


  • Miles Jordan (AAD, AADC)
  • Andrew Davidson (AAD, Southern Oceans Ecosystems program)
  • Simon Wright (AAD, Southern Oceans Ecosystems program)
  • Karen Westwood (AAD, Southern Oceans Ecosystems program)
  • Rick van den Enden (AAD, Electron Microscope Unit)
  • Gustaaf Hallegraeff (University of Tasmania)
  • Jeremy Young (University College London)
  • Miguel de Salas (TMAG)
  • Ruth Eriksen (University of Tasmania)
  • Anita Buma (University of Groningen)
  • Wolfgang Petz
  • ACE-CRC (partial funding)


Our collection of images is not complete. We welcome contributions of images and other data and can easily incorporate them into the online version of the key. Please contact us for further information.


The entire work on this site, including the taxonomic keys, the data and the images within it are copyright: © Commonwealth of Australia 2013.

The information contained within this site is based on chapters of Antarctic Marine Protists (eds. Scott & Marchant, 2005; publishers AAD & ABRS). Apart from any use permitted under the Copyright Act 1968, no part may be reproduced or distributed by any process or stored in any retrieval system or database without prior written permission from the copyright holder. Requests and inquiries concerning reproduction and rights should be addressed to The Director, Australian Antarctic Division, 203 Channel Highway, Kingston, Tasmania 7050, Australia.

This site is hosted by the Australian Antarctic Division. It was established by Imojen Pearce, Fiona Scott, Miles Jordan and Christopher Hackett, and is actively maintained by Imojen Pearce