E-Flora BC: Electronic Atlas of the Flora of British Columbia

Gracilariopsis andersonii (Grunow) E.Y. Dawson
sea spaghetti

Introduction to the Algae

© Rosemary Taylor  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #52787)

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Distribution of Gracilariopsis andersonii
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Ocean Biogeography Information System (global distribution)

Species Information

Family Description:
Members of this family are cylindrical or flattened, branched or unbranched, and fleshy or cartilaginous. The medulla is composed of large, globose cells (no filaments). Reproduction is as described for the order.
Species description:
Sea Spaghetti is anchored by a small, discoidal holdfast, from which extend several branches up to 2 m (6.5 ft) tall. The branches are reddish brown to reddish purple early in the season, often fading to yellowish brown later. Sea Spaghetti is sparingly branched, with slender, flexible axes up to almost 2 mm (less than 0.1 in) in diameter. Since the branches are rather cartilaginous in texture, this has suggested this rather whimsical common name to us.

The carposporophytic generation occurs as bumps up to 1.8 mm in diameter scattered along the branches.

This species grows on rocks, especially ones that are rather smooth and partly buried in sand in exposed situations. Sea Spaghetti can continue to grow after it is torn off and is drifting freely in the water. In fact, it has been suggested that this might be an important dispersal mechanism for this species.

Sea Sphghetti is edible; it can be chopped and added to salads as a colorful and nutritious ingredient.

Source: North Pacific Seaweeds

Habitat / Range

Bathymetry: mid intertidal to subtidal (18 meters or 60 feet)
World Distribution: Vancouver Island, British Columbia, to Mexico

Source: North Pacific Seaweeds

Synonyms and Alternate Names

Gracilariopsis sjoestedtii

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Range and Status Information Links

Additional Photo Sources

Related Databases

General References