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Authority

Edvardsen, Eikrem & Probert, 2011.

Class

Haptophyceae/Prymnesiophyceae

Order

Prymnesiales

Family

Prymnesiaceae

Additional References

Kawachi et al. (1991: 563, figs 1–29), LeRoi & Hallegraeff (2004: 83, fig. 17)

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Basionym

Chrysochromulina hirta Manton (1978: 13, figs 1–17; type figs 5, 7)

Synonyms

N/A

Description

Cells ovoid to spherical, c. 6 µm diameter (dried preparation), biflagellate; body covered in unmineralised scales. Body scales of 3 types: long spine scales distributed uniformly over cell, 20–30 µm long, with spine basally forked and grooved and attached to base-plate by 4 rigid supporting struts, the base-plate elliptical, concave, 2–2.5 µm diameter, the distal surface patterned with delicate ±radiating striae; short spine scales distributed uniformly over cell, twice as numerous as long spine scales, to 4–6 µm long, structured like long spine scales but the supporting struts greatly reduced, base-plate elliptical, c. 1.5 × 2 µm; plate scales forming an underlayer, flat, elliptical, c. 1.3 × 1.6 µm, apparently rimless, patterned with delicate ±radiating striae. Flagella equal, to 20 µm long. Haptonema somewhat longer than flagella when extended, or coiled into c. 10 gyres when retracted.

Distribution

Southern Ocean, south of Australia; Cape Town, South Africa (Manton, 1978); Arctic waters (Manton, 1978).

Comments

The haptonema of C. hirta has been shown to be a food-capturing device (Kawachi et al., 1991). This species can ingest particulate matter of size range 0.5–1.97 µm diameter (Marchant, unpublished data).

Chrysochromulina genus description: Cells have homodynamic flagella and a coiling haptonema, and electron microscopy is usually required to identify the species. As well as being photosynthetic, these fragile haptophytes ingest picoplanktonic and nanoplanktonic organisms by phagocytosis.

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