brown seaweeds text index | photo index
Seaweeds > Division Phaeophyta
Puffy brown seaweed
Colpomenia sinuosa*
Family Scytosiphonaceae
updated Jan 13

Where seen? These odd lumpy brown bubbles are sometimes seen on our shores, growing on rocks and coral rubble. In some places, they can dominate small areas for a period of time, turning the location a golden brown.

Features: Small bubbles 1-6cm, covering a small area, but sometimes many clumps of bubbles may cover an area of 1m or more. A crisp outer membrane with a smooth somewhat shiny texture, encasing a hollow interior. The seaweed starts growing as a single rounded blob and as it gets bigger may form sheets with irregular wrinkled blobs or puffed up lobes. Colours range from beige to yellowish brown.

Cyrene Reef, Aug 12
According to AlgaeBase, there are 11 current Colpomenia species.

Human uses: Puffy brown seaweed is eaten by people and used as animal feed, medicine for its antibacterial and antitumor properties.

Crisp outer membrance
encasing hollow interior.
Sisters Islands, Nov 05

When submerged may have a fine hairy surface.

Tanah Merah, May 09

Labrador, Jan 06

South Cyrene, Oct 10

Puffy brown seaweeds on Singapore shores
Photos for free download from wildsingapore flickr
Distribution in Singapore on this wildsingapore flickr map

*Seaweed species are difficult to positively identify without microscopic examination.
On this website, they are grouped by external features for convenience of display.

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

  Colpomenia sinuosa

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