IUCN threat status:

Not evaluated

Comprehensive Description

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Description of Pterosperma

Unicellular algae occurring in two very different stages; main, coccoid, Phycoma stage is spherical, 14-230 µm in diameter and surrounded by a double wall, surface of wall is smooth, papillose or poroid and bears one or more wings protruding from the surface, initially uninuclear and contains numerous chloroplasts, each with a pyrenoid; division give rise to formation of a large number of motile cells, motile cell have 4 flagella, held together as a single, thick 'compound' flagellum behind the swimming cell, a chloroplast with a pyrenoid but no eyespot, extrusomes present; all surfaces covered with organic scales, flagella with an underlayer of small square scales overlain by Limuloid ones, in addition to two opposite rows of hair-shaped scales; cell body with a three-layered scale cover: release of the motile cells occurring 2-3 days on either side of the new or full moon; widely distributed in the marine plankton.

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