ceratium tripos

The unique three-pronged shape of the dinoflagellate Ceratium tripos makes it easy to identify among the phytoplankton, where it is one of the dominant organisms. Although this species is usually solitary, several individuals may be seen together, attached to each other by the single apical horn. This occurs when a cell divides and the daughter cells remain linked in short chains. Ceratium tripos is sometimes parasitized by other protists.

  • Photo:Keisotyo, Wikimedia Commons