Trichodesmium (cyanobacterium)

Collected: 100 km offshore from Barnegat, NJ. Depths of >200 meters. Caught while drifting a plankton net (363 micrometer mesh) from the back of a boat at night. Summer 2009.

Notes: Trichodesmium is a very large, filamentous cyanobacteruim typical of tropical and Gulf Stream waters. The filaments are usually clumped together as shown. Often, Trichosdesmium is a bright pink color. When massive blooms occur, the sea can look pink. Pink Trichodesmium may have given the Red Sea its name.


This specimen shows the individual filaments.  


Collected and photographed by: William S. Johnson, Goucher College