The raphidophytes are a small group of
mainly marine genera of phytoplankton. They are single-celled,
flagellated, typically range in size from 30-80 um and lack cell walls or
scales (i.e., naked flagellates). Raphidophyceae is a class of algae in
the Division Chrysophyta, the golden-brown algae.
Heterosigma and Fibrocapsa species have been
associated with ‘red tide’ blooms off the coasts of Japan and New England.
Fish kills have occasionally been observed related to the species. In
Delaware during the year 2000, a fish kill was associated with a toxic
bloom of Chattonella cf verruculosa. These genera are being
observed in Maryland, however, with no evidence of toxic events to