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Modern Dinocyst Key

A determination key for modern dinoflagellate cysts

This is an online determination key based on easily recognizable morphological features of modern organic-walled dinoflagellate cysts that can be observed using standard light-transmitted microscopy.

This key is established by Karin Zonneveld and Vera Pospelova.

The key is free of charge if cited accordingly:
Zonneveld, K.A.F. and Pospelova V. (2015). A determination key for modern dinoflagellate cysts.
Palynology 39 (3), 387- 409.

Furthermore, you have to correctly cite the source literature of original species descriptions, geographic distributions, and give courtesy to the researchers who produced photographs. This information is provided for each individual species (see the individual species websites).

The key will be continuously updated and improved by the authors. If you note any discrepancies, find mistakes or typos please contact Karin Zonneveld (kzonneveld@marum.de) or Vera Pospelova (vpospe@uvic.ca).
Brown coloured cyst +
Transparent cyst +

World single grain reference collection

Specimens photographed by Karin Zonneveld are stored in the "World rmodern dinoflagellate cyst single grain reference collection" at the MARUM. This reference collection is free for consultation. For appointments to study the collection, please contact the secretary of the department "Micropalaeontology/palaeoceanography" Ute Wolpmann: [Bitte aktivieren Sie Javascript]