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Seaweeds > Division Chlorophyta
Smooth sponge green seaweed
Cladophoropsis vaucheriaeformis*
Family Boodleaceae
updated Oct 2016

Where seen? This woolly branching seaweed is often seen on many of our Southern shores, growing on coral rubble.

Features: The entire organism can be about 20-30cm across (to 50cm), with 'stems' about 0.5-1cm wide. 'Stems' may be short knobs, long cylindrical or flattened, or even flattened leafy shapes. Tips usually thin and tapering, usually not Y-shaped. Each 'stem' is made up of fine, branched filaments that are packed together to form structures that feel woolly, velvety, spongey or felt-like. The 'stems' are smooth and do not have obvious holes in them, especially when the sponge is out of water. Light to dark green.

This organism is actually a symbiotic combination of an algae (Cladophoropsis vaucheriaeformis) and a sponge (Halichondria cartilaginea, Family Halichondriidae)! The sponge cells and spicules are intertwined with the algae.

Sometimes confused with the Holey sponge seaweed (Ceratodictyon sp.) which has more obvious 'holes' along the 'stems'. It is a red seaweed which also has a symbiotic relationship with another kind of sponge. The two organisms are sometimes difficult to tell apart in the field.

Pulau Hantu, May 05

No obvious holes.
Terumbu Semakau, Dec 11

Terumbu Salu, Jan 10

Pulau Tekukor, Jan 10

Pulau Jong, Jul 06

*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.

Smooth sponge green seaweeds on Singapore shores

Photos of Smooth sponge green seaweeds for free download from wildsingapore flickr

Distribution in Singapore on this wildsingapore flickr map

Berlayar Creek, Oct 17
Photo shared by Abel Yeo on facebook.

Pulau Semakau East, Jan 16
Photo shared by Lisa Lim on facebook.

Terumbu Berkas, Jan 10

Pulau Sudong, Dec 09

Pulau Biola, Dec 09

Pulau Biola, Dec 09

Pulau Salu, Aug 10

Terumbu Semakau, May 10

Links References
  • 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.
  • Lim Swee Cheng, Nicole de Voogd and Tan Koh Siang. 2008. A Guide to Sponges of Singapore. Singapore Science Centre. 173pp.
  • A. C. Lee, Lawrence M. Liao and K. S. Tan. New records of marine algae on artificial structures and intertidal flats in coastal waters of Singapore. Pp. 5-40. in the Raffles Bulletin of Zoology [pdf, 2.41 MB]
  • 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.
  • Huisman, John M. 2000. Marine Plants of Australia University of Western Australia Press. 300pp.
  • Calumpong, 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.
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