Karenia papilionacea

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Taxonomic Group:Dinoflagellate
Trophic Status:Autotrophic
Size Range:18-48 μm wide x 18-32 μm long (Haywood et al. 2004)
Key Characteristics:Epitheca with prominent pointed apical protrusion (carina) which contracts forward to overlap the upper ventral epitheca when cells are stressed, and thus could be less obvious in certain orientations; hypotheca is centrally excavated and bilobed; nucleus spherical to slightly oval and located in left hypotheca; chloroplasts are peripheral and can be few and large or several and small, round to reniform (Haywood et al. 2004)
Confused With:Karenia brevis, which has a more slight hypothecal excavation and a less pointed and more bulbous apical protrusion