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Pfiesteria piscicida is a putatively toxic dinoflagellate species with flagellated and cyst stages. This species, dubbed the 'ambush predator', was first observed in the Pamlico Sound, North Carolina, USA, in 1991 after a massive fish kill. Pfiesteria piscicida has been associated with fish kills, and then feeds on the dead prey (Burkholder et al. 1992; 1995; Steidinger et al. 1996).