On the basis of morphological (light and electron microscopy) as well molecular data, we show that the widely distributed freshwater dinoflagellate presently known as Peridiniopsis berolinensis is a member of the family Pfiesteriaceae, an otherwise marine and estuarine family of dinoflagellates. P. berolinensis is a close relative of the marine species, which it resembles in morphology, mode of swimming, food-uptake mechanism, and partial LSU rRNA sequences. It differs from all known genera of the family in plate tabulation. P. berolinensis is only distantly related to the type species of Peridiniopsis, P. borgei, and is therefore transferred to the new genus Tyrannodinium as T. berolinense comb. nov. T. berolinense is a very common freshwater flagellate that feeds vigorously on other protists and is able to consume injured metazoans much larger than itself. Production of toxins has not been reported.
Journal of Phycology, 2009, Vol 45, Issue 5, p. 1195-1205