• Belize, Central America;
  • benthic dinoflagellates;
  • coral rubble;
  • Dinophyceae;
  • morphology;
  • Prorocentrales;
  • Prorocentrum arenarium sp. nov.;
  • Prorocentrum sabulosum sp. nov.;
  • Prorocentrum sculptile sp. nov.;
  • sand-dwelling;
  • scanning electron microscopy;
  • taxonomy


Three new benthic, sand-dwelling dinqflagellate species, Prorocentrum sabulosum, Prorocentrum scuptile, and Prorocentrum arenarium, from coral rubble are described from scanning electron micrographs. Species were identified based on shape, size, surface micromorphology, ornamentation of thecal plates, and architecture of the periflagellar area and intercalary band.

Cells of P. sabulosum are oval with a cell size of 48–50 μm long and 41–48 μm wide. The areolae are round to oval and numerous (332–450 per valve) and range from 1 to 1.6 μm in size. The periflagellar area of P. sabulosum bears a wide V-shaped depression with a flat ridge and lacks ornamentation; it accommodates six pores: one large flagellar pore, an adjacent smaller auxiliary pore, and four pores of unknown function. The flagellar and auxiliary pores are surrounded by a narrow apical collar. The intercalary band of P. sabulosum is smooth.

Prorocentrum sculptile cells are broadly oval, 32–37 nm long, and 30–32 μm wide in valve view with a deep-sculptured apical area. The valves are smooth and are marked with shallow depressions (856–975 per valve). Some of these depressions have a small round opening (0.13 μm in diameter). The periflagellar area is V-shaped with a deeply indented depression; it accommodates the two flagella and a thin angled apical plate. The intercalary band is smooth.

Prorocentrum arenarium cells are nearly round in valve view 30–32 μm in diameter. Thecal surface is smooth with scattered kidney-shaped valve poroids (65–73 per valve) and marginal poroids (50–57 per valve). Length and width of poroids are 0.62 μm and 0.36 μm, respectively. The periflagellar area is an unornamented, broad triangle into which a large flagellar pore and a smaller auxiliary pore are fitted. Both flagella, longitudinal and transverse, protrude from the flagellar pore. The intercalary band is smooth. The presence of a peduncle-like structure (2–3 μm long) in P. arenarium was observed situated in the flagellar pore.