Flagellate EUKARYOTES, found mainly in the oceans. They are characterized by the presence of transverse and longitudinal flagella which propel the organisms in a rotating manner through the water. Dinoflagellida were formerly members of the class Phytomastigophorea under the old five kingdom paradigm.
A dinoflagellate with a life cycle that includes numerous flagellated, amoeboid, and encysted stages. Both the flagellated and amoeboid forms produce toxins which cause open wounds on fish. Pfiesteria piscicida feeds on tissue sloughed from these wounds, as well as on bacteria and algae. It is found in Atlantic estuaries of the United States.