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Seaweeds > Division Phaeophyta
Puffy brown seaweed
Colpomenia sinuosa*
Family Scytosiphonaceae
updated Oct 2016

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

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

Puffy brown seaweeds on Singapore shores

Photos of Puffy brown seaweeds for free download from wildsingapore flickr

Distribution in Singapore on this wildsingapore flickr map

Terumbu Buran, Nov 10
Photo shared by Russel Low on facebook.

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

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

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.
  • 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].
  • Lim, 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. 160 pp.
  • 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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