RHODOPHYTA : GIGARTINALES : SphaerococcaceaeRED ALGAE

Sphaerococcus coronopifolius Stackhouse


Description: The gametangial phase grows from a discoid holdfast to form an erect, compressed and much branched thallus to a length of 15 cms. Branching more or less distichous, with small final branchlets in opposite series. The tetrasporic phase is crustose and was previously referred to as Haematocelis fissurata P.L.Crouan & H.M.Crouan.

Habitat: The gametangial phase is epilithic in the sublittoral to 15 m.

Distribution: The gametangial phase is basically south-western in the British Isles along the south-western coast of England, Wales, around Ireland, the Isle of Man and the western coasts of Scotland and the Channel Isles. The tetrasporic phase has been recorded from Ireland and Scotland. Europe:, Mediterranean, Azores, Portugal, Atlantic coasts of Spain and France. Further afield: Canary Islands.

Similar Species: Plocamium cartilagineum is similar, however Plocamium shows a pectinate pattern of branching not seen in Sphaerococcus.

Distribution Map from BioMar data for Ireland - Google Earth map:  download this placemark (not got Google Earth installed?)

Distribution Map from NBN: Grid map (fast) : Interactive map (slow, requires login to view records) : National Biodiversity Network mapping facility, data for UK.


 Morton, O. & Picton, B.E., 2010. [In] Encyclopedia of Marine Life of Britain and Ireland
http://www.habitas.org.uk/marinelife/species.asp?item=ZM6370

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