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New records of Scaphodinium mirabile (Dinophyceae), an unnoticed dinoflagellate in the Pacific Ocean

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Previous records of dinoflagellate Scaphodinium mirabile Margalef (Leptodiscaceae, Noctilucales) were restricted to the Mediterranean-Black Sea and Eastern Atlantic Ocean. Nine and 34 specimens were observed in the upper 100 m layer in May and July, respectively, in a cross-section in the vicinity of the Kuroshio Current (NW Pacific Ocean). Nearly all the Lugol-fixed specimens appeared folded over themselves, an appearance that differs from the view reported in the scarce literature available.The role of heterotrophic and mixotrophic phytoplankton, in particular dinoflagellates, on pelagic food webs has recently received significant attention (Gaines and Elbrächter 1987; Hansen 1991). However, among heterotrophic dinoflagellates, taxa belonging to the order Noctilucales Haeckel (see Gómez 2003 for a species list) have received less attention, with the exception of the red tide species octiluca scintillans Macartney) Kofoid.

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