This pretty seaweed is made up of tiny balls. It grows on rocks and
coral rubble in small clumps. In Singapore, it does not form extensive
Features: The seaweed resembles
bunches of little grapes. Each 'grape' is tiny (0.1-0.2cm)
spherical, translucent. The 'grapes' are usually tightly packed on a
vertical 'stem', the whole often forming a sausage-like shape (2-10cm long).
This species is distinguished by the distinct constriction where the
'grape' attaches to the stalk. The 'stems' emerge from
a long horizontal 'root' that creeps over the surface. Colours range
from bright green to bluish and olive green.
Sometimes confused with Oval
sea grapes (Caulerpa racemosa). Caulerpa microphysa can look very similar but lack the distinct
constriction where the 'grape' attached to the stalk. Here's more on how
to tell apart the sea grapes seaweeds.
Human uses: Round sea grapes are
a popular edible species in some places. In the Philippines,
the seaweed is eaten fresh as a salad, or salted so it can be eaten
later. Small quantities are also exported to Japan. It is also eaten
in Malaysia and Indonesia. This seaweed is commercially farmed in
Cebu, Philippines. Cuttings are planted by hand in muddy mangrove
ponds and harvested about two months later. The seaweed is also fed
to livestock and fish. The seaweed is high in minerals and is said
to taste refreshing. It is also reported to have antibacterial and
antifungal properties, and to be used to treat high blood pressure
and rheumatism. However, some Caulerpa species produce toxins
to protect themselves from browsing fish. This also makes them toxic
Terumbu Semakau, May 10
Tightly packed 'grapes' form a sausage-like shape.
Beting Bemban Besar, Apr 10
Constriction where the 'grape' attached to the stalk.
Labrador, May 09
Pulau Semakau, May 08
*Species are difficult to positively identify without close examination
of internal parts.
On this website, they are grouped by external features for convenience of
sea grapes on Singapore shores
Pulau Senang, Aug 10
Pulau Salu, Jun 10
Pulau Salu, Aug 10
- Lee Ai Chin, Iris U. Baula, Lilibeth N. Miranda and Sin Tsai Min ; editors: Sin Tsai Min and Wang Luan Keng, A photographic guide to the marine algae of Singapore, 2015. Tropical Marine Science Institute, 201 pp.
- Pham, M.
N., H. T. W. Tan, S. Mitrovic & H. H. T. Yeo, 2011. A
Checklist of the Algae of Singapore, 2nd Edition. Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum, National University of Singapore,
Singapore. 99 pp. Uploaded 1 October 2011. [PDF, 1.58 MB].
S., P. Ng, L. Tan, & W. Y. Chin, 1994. Rhythm of the
Sea: The Life and Times of Labrador Beach. Division of
Biology, School of Science, Nanyang Technological University
& Department of Zoology, the National University of Singapore.
L. M., 1998. A
Guide to the Coral Reef Life of Singapore. Singapore
Science Centre. 128 pages.
John M. 2000. Marine
Plants of Australia University of Western Australia Press. 300pp.
H. P. & Menez, E. G., 1997.Field
Guide to the Common Mangroves, Seagrasses and Algae of the Philippines.
Bookmark, Inc., the Philippines. 197 pp.
- Trono, Gavino.
C. Jr., 1997. Field
Guide and Atlas of the Seaweed Resources of the Philippines..
Bookmark, Inc., the Philippines. 306 pp.