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Emiliania huxleyi 2.jpg
Scientific Classification
Selected Order

Class Pavlovophyceae

Class Prymnesiophyceae

Haptophytes are colonial Protists, colonial flagellates, cellular flagellates, non-motile single cells, and unicellular flagellates. Haptophytes are protists, on average about six microns long. They are asexual, carry on mitosis, and are mainly found in marine waters, though some can be found in fresh waters. What sets these organisms apart is an organelle called the haptonema, similar to flagella, but rather than being used for locomotion, it is used for capturing its prey. Haptophyta's best-known organism contained within it is the coccolithophore. They are both producers and consumers. They typically store chrysolaminarin. Haptophyta is unique because the entire phylum produces blooms, some non-toxic and some toxic, and their blooms are sometimes deadly. They pervade so deeply that they can be seen from satellites (see below image).[1]


All Haptophytes have two flagella, their outsides are usually covered in scales, perform open mitosis, and are unicellular. They have an organelle that no other organism has, called the haptonema. The haptonema is almost exactly like a flagellum. A flagellum is used for locomotion, and is distributed differently throughout the organism differently than the haptonema. Also, the haptonema is used for capturing prey and sensory, not locomotion. Their photo-pigments include chlorophyll C, xanathophyll, and A. They have spines to help protect against predation.[2]


All haptophytes are asexual. All haptophytes reproduce using cell fission.


Coccolithophores can form massive blooms that can be detected by satellite.

Almost every single haptophyte is marine, however some are freshwater organisms. They can be found virtually everywhere in the world. All haptophytes produce blooms. These blooms are mainly nontoxic, but a few species can create toxic blooms, as we have found out the hard way. [3]

Life Cycle

Haptophytes are born from cell fission, grow, and reproduce through cell fission again; they do not live long.

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Related References

See Also