The heterotrophic dinoflagellate Pfiesteria piscicida was detected in Ace Lake in the Vestfold Hills, eastern Antarctica by using real-time PCR based on 18S rDNA sequences. Antarctic water samples collected in 2004 were tested by species-specific real-time PCR assays for the identification of P. piscicida and P. shumwayae. Positive results were shown with P. piscicida-specific real-time PCR, and PCR products were examined by sequence analysis for confirmation. A phylogenetic tree made from partial 18S rDNA sequences showed that the Antarctic clone clustered with P. piscicida. This result suggests that P. piscicida is present in the extreme conditions of an Antarctic saline lake which has not contained fish for thousands of years.