Haematococcus pluvialis is a freshwater species of Chlorophyta from the family Haematococcaceae.
This species is well known for its high content of the strong antioxidant astaxanthin, which is important
in aquaculture, various pharmaceuticals, and cosmetics.
The high amount of astaxanthin is present in the resting cells, which are produced and rapidly accumulated
when the environmental conditions become unfavorable for normal cell growth. Examples of such conditions
include bright light, high salinity, and low availability of nutrients.Haematococcus pluvialis is usually found in
temperate regions around the world.
Their resting cysts are often responsible for the bloodred colour seen in the bottom of dried out rock pools
and bird baths. This colour is caused by astaxanthin which is believed to protect the resting cysts from the
detrimental effect of UV-radiation, when exposed to direct sunlight.