PORT PHILLIP BAY


Red Seaweed 

Melanthalia obtusata

View scientific description and taxonomy

Scientific Details

Similar to Melanthalia abscissa which is much smaller (branches to 1mm wide).

Main information sources:
Womersley, H.B.S., (1984-2003). The Marine Benthic Flora of Southern Australia. Part 1-3d. Govt. Printer, South Australia.
Baldock, R.N. 2010. Algae Revealed. South Australian State Herbarium. Website.
AlgaeBase. Website.

Taxonomy

Phylum:
Rhodophyta
Subphylum:
Eurhodophytina
Class:
Florideophyceae
Subclass:
Rhodymeniophycidae
Order:
Gracilariales
Family:
Gracilariaceae
Genus:
Melanthalia
Species:
obtusata

General Description

One to few cylindrical stems (stipes) arising from a disc-like (discoid) holdfast. Fronds are compressed, linear with occasional constrictions on edges. Branching occurs mostly equally in two (subdichotomous). Branches split into a fork at ends. Branch tips (apex) are rounded with dark caps. Dark red-brown. Up to 40 cm long (thallus).

Biology

This robust alga turns almost black in colour when dying.

Habitat

Subtidal reef in rough waters, to depth of 21 m.

Reefs

Distribution guide

New Caledonia, New Zealand and Australia.

Species Group

Seaweeds and seagrasses Red algae

Depth

Shallow (1-30 m)

Water Column

On or near sea floor

Max Size

40 cm

Diet

Photosynthetic - sunlight

Commercial Species

No

Global Dispersal

Recorded in Australia

Identify

Conservation Status

  • DSE Advisory List : Not listed
  • EPBC Act 1999 : Not listed
  • IUCN Red List : Not listed

Author

article author Pocklington, Jacqui

Jacqui Pocklington is a Research Associate with expertise in algal taxonomy.

citation

Cite this page as:
Pocklington, Jacqui, 2011, Red Seaweed, Melanthalia obtusata, in Taxonomic Toolkit for marine life of Port Phillip Bay, Museum Victoria, accessed 19 Oct 2017, http://portphillipmarinelife.net.au:8098/species/12332

Text: creative commons cc by licence