Mesodinium rubrum bloom in Pedder Bay


Red Pedder Bay

The margins of Pedder Bay have been quite red recently…

Red Pedder Bay 2

This is due to a bloom of Mesodinium rubrum, a little red-coloured ciliate.

Kyle collected a bucket of water off the dock on 7 March 2013 which had some Mesodinium rubrum and looked like this:

7 March Meso

And then again today (11 March), which looked like this:

11 March Meso

Compared to tap water:

Tap water & Mesodinium

Mesodinium beaker1 P1000955

This is not a harmful species, but it does colour the water as a ‘red tide’.

For more information see the UBC Phytopedia entry for Myrionecta rubra.  (I love the lifestyle description of ‘kleptochloroplastidic’ which means stealing chloroplasts!)  It’s also worth doing a Google image search for Mesodinium rubrum to see images of individual ciliates and of other water coloured by blooms of Mesodinium rubrum.

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