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Seaweeds > Division Phaeophyta
Mermaid's fan seaweed
Padina sp.*
Family Dictyotaceae
updated Oct 2016
Where seen? Bouquets of this brown seaweed is commonly encountered on many our shores, especially our Southern shores. On boulders, rocks, stones and coral rubble. It is also sometimes called Mermaid's ear seaweed.

Features: A bunch of funnel-shaped structures. Each funnel about 3-5cm in diameter, with concentric circles of tiny hairs and a rolled edge. The funnel is often torn at the edges. The bunch of funnels is usually attached to a hard surface and spreads out like a beautiful bouquet when submerged. Golden brown, sometimes with a bluish or whitish tinge. The white tinge is from the calcium carbonate incorporated in the blade. Padina is the only brown seaweed known to incorporate calcium.

According to AlgaeBase: there are more than 30 current Padina species.

Human uses: Mermaid's fan seaweed is eaten in some places. It is also used as animal feed, fertiliser and traditional medicine.

Sentosa, Apr 04

Circular fan-shaped, often torn at the edges.

Sentosa, Nov 11

Tiny hairs on edges and
along concentric circles.

Sisters Island, Nov 11

Tiny hairs on edges and
along concentric circles.

Sisters Island, Nov 05

St. John's Island, Jan 06

Tuas, Apr 04

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

Mermaid's fan seaweed on Singapore shores

Photos of Mermaid's fan seaweed for free download from wildsingapore flickr

Distribution in Singapore on this wildsingapore flickr map

Pulau Pawai, Dec 09

Pulau Sudong, Dec 09

Pulau Biola, Dec 09

Terumbu Salu, Jan 10

Terumbu Berkas, Jan 10

Pulau Senang, Aug 10

Padina 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.

  Padina antillarum
Padina australis
Padina boryana
Padina distromatica
Padina gymnospora
Padina pavonica

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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