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Harmful Algae & Red Tide Species Information

Map View About HAB News What Are HABs? HAB Species

What HAB species are found in California?

Lingulodinium polyedrum

Potential Toxin Produced: Yessotoxin
Syndrome: not described; may discolor water a reddish brown color
Photo courtesy of Dr. M. Karlson B. Kuylenstierna, Checklist of phytoplankton in the Skagerrak-Kattegat, 1996-2006
Photo courtesy of Dr. Meredith Howard

The dinoflagellate Lingulodinium polyedrum (formerly Gonyaulax ployedra) can form spectacular red colored blooms in warm coastal waters. These "red tides" occur frequently along the coast of Southern California. A large red tide occurred summer and fall of 2005, and extended from San Diego to Ventura.

Lingulodinium poyledrum is also responsible for magnificent displays of phosphorescence at night. Recent research shows that this species may produce a toxin called yessotoxin. The yessotoxins have previously been included in the diarrhetic shellfish poison (DSP) group, but the yessotoxin chemistry and toxicology differ distinctly from the DSP toxin family. Yessotoxin is now separated in its own phycotoxin group.

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