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Seaweeds > Division Chlorophyta
Hairy green seaweed
Bryopsis sp.*
Family Bryopsidaceae
updated Jan 13

if you learn only 3 things about them ...
There may be different forms of this seaweed from hairy to feathery. Take a closer look.
Avoid stepping on the green carpet of hairy seaweeds. It's slippery and animals live among the seaweeds.
Tiny animals are often found in this seaweed. Look for them.

Where seen? This green seaweed is commonly seen on many of our shores, attached to coral rubble. Sometimes in small clumps on sandy areas too. It seems to be seasonally abundant, especially on our Southern shores. At times, vast areas of the intertidal zone may be blanketed in a thick green carpet of this seaweed which disappear after a few weeks. It is reported that this seaweed can tolerate low salinities.

Features: A clump of fine filaments (6-8cm long) attached to a hard surface, such as small stones and coral rubble. In some, the filaments form long feather-like structures that taper at the tips. In others, the filaments are long, single strands with only a little bit of branching. Various shades of green, from bluish green to olive green.

According to AlgaeBase there are more than 60 current Bryopsis species.

Sometimes confused with similar green seaweeds. Here's more on how to tell apart some green seaweeds.

Role in the habitat:
Although some Bryopsis species produces chemicals to defend against herbivores, when hairy green seaweeds are abundant on the shores, there is also an abundance of some sea slugs such as the Leaf slug (Elysia ornata) and tiny Bryopsis slugs (Placida dendritica).These sap-sucking slugs probably eat the seaweed. Sometimes, the seaweed is thick with tiny little beachfleas (Order Amphipoda). We have also seen the Giant reef worm (Eunice aphroditois) snatching this seaweed back to its lair.

Seasonally may bloom, covering the shore
in a thick furry blanket.
Sentosa, Nov 10

Hairy green seaweeds of different structures
may be seen together.
Sentosa, Nov 10

A Giant reef worm snatching
a mouthful of seaweed back into its lair.

Sisters Island, Apr 04
Lots of tiny creatures are
often seen on this seaweed.
Sentosa, Nov 09

Tiny Bryopsis slugs are
often abundant on this seaweed.
Sentosa, Sep 08

Sometimes parts may be orange.
Chek Jawa, Jul 08

Sentosa, Jan 06

Changi, Jun 05

Hairy green seaweed on Singapore shores

Photos for free download from wildsingapore flickr

more photos of hairy green seaweeds on Singapore shores

*Species are difficult to positively identify without close examination of internal parts.
On this website, they are grouped by external features for convenience of display.

Bryopsis recorded for Singapore
Pham, M. N., H. T. W. Tan, S. Mitrovic & H. H. T. Yeo, 2011. A Checklist of the Algae of Singapore.

  Bryopsis corymbosa
Bryopsis hypnoides
Bryopsis indica
Bryopsis pennata
Bryopsis pennata
var. leprieurii
Bryopsis pennata
var. secunda
Bryopsis plumosa

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