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Taxonomic Group: Phytoflagellate
Trophic Status: Autotrophic
Size Range: Varies with species
Key Characteristics: In its broadest sense, this category comprises autotrophic phytoplankton with flagella, and includes large forms (dinoflagellates, euglenophytes) as well as small forms (silicoflagellates, cryptophytes, etc.); nearly all genera can be identified by standard microscopy, but, except for dinoflagellates, most are hard to identify to species because key features are affected by preservatives; features are best observed in live material and electron microscopy is often needed
Confused With: In the Guide, this practical category is used for those small species in the Chrysophyceae, Prymnesiophyceae, and Prasinophyceae; the other groups are treated individually; see p. 602 in Tomas 1997 for a full discussion of phytoflagellate systematics
Toxin: None known