Family: Hemiaulaceae Heiberg
Genus: Cerataulina H. Péragallo
Scientific name: Cerataulina pelagica (Cleve) Hendey
Cerataulina bergonii (H. Péragallo) Schütt
Pavillard, 1925: p. 56, Fig. 99 (as Cerataulina bergonii); Hustedt,1930: p. 870, Fig. 517 (as Cerataulina bergonii); Allen and Cupp,1935: p. 148, Fig. 86 (as Cerataulina bergonii); Cupp, 1943: p. 167,Fig. 117 (as Cerataulina bergonii); Crosby and Wood, 1958: p. 502,Pl. 36: 18. Hendey, 1964: p. 113, Pl. IV: 4; Simonsen, 1974: p. 33 (as Cerataulina bergonii); Ricard, 1987: p. 187, Figs. 331-338;Throndsen et al., 2007: p. 177.
Cells twisted about the central axis of the chain; apertures between cells, often very small. Processes short. Diameter of cells 11-36 µm.Intercalary bands numerous; collarlike, very indistinct. Cell wall weakly siliceous and very delicately sculptured. Valves with radial rows of puncta, 21-23 puncta in 10 µm. Chromatophores small and numerous (Cupp, 1943).
Non-toxic bloom-forming species. Death of benthic shellfish and bony fish was attributed to anoxia, and clogging of the gills during a bloom of Cerataulina pelagica off the coast of northeastern New Zealand in 1983 (Taylor et al., 1985).
Cells length 38-62 µm; diameter 18-26 µm.
Neritic, south temperate species.
Sites of occurrence in RSA:
In Winter 2006 Cruise, Cerataulina pelagica was commonly observed at various sites in the RSA (refer sites map) phytoplankton community, sometimes in high abundance. When this species was abundant, its contribution to the total phytoplankton abundance reached up to 52%; the highest concentration recorded was 5.3*10^4 cells/l. High abundance of Cerataulina pelagica (> 10^4 cells/l) was encountered mainly in the Sea of Oman and a localized peak was recorded in Kuwaiti waters. It has been previously reported from the inner RSA (Simonsen, 1974, as Cerataulina bergonii) and from Kuwaiti waters (Al-Yamani et al., 2004; Al-Kandari et al., 2009).