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Seaweeds > Division Rhodophyta
Prickly red seaweed
Hypnea sp. *
Family Cystocloniaceae
updated Jan 13
Where seen? Forming clumps of tangled, fine branches, this seaweed is sometimes seen on coral rubble on our Southern shores.

Features: Clumps of fleshy 'stems' finely branched in tangles. Some have short 'stems' (3-6cm) covered with lots of tiny pointed projections that give a prickly look. These may carpet small areas of coral rubble. Others have longer stems (10-15cm) and form tangled bunches. Colours range from beige, pink, reddish or brownish.

Bluish ones with thicker stems that form bushy balls is probably Hypnea pannosa.

According to AlgaeBase: there are more than 50 current Hypnea species.

Human uses: In some places, Hypnea seaweeds are fed to livestock and eaten by people.

Pulau Hantu, Apr 06

Pulau Hantu, Mar 06

Pulau Semakau, Sep 05

Labrador, Feb 06

Bushy ball red seaweed

Terumbu Raya, May 10

Bushy ball red seaweed

Pulau Hantu, Aug 04

Pulau Salu, Aug 10

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

Prickly red seaweeds on Singapore shores

Photos of Prickly red seaweeds for free download from wildsingapore flickr

Distribution in Singapore on this wildsingapore flickr map

Sentosa Serapong, Dec 20
Photo shared by Vincent Choo on facebook.

Beting Bemban Besar, Apr 10

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

  Hypnea caespitosa
Hypnea esperi
Hypnea musciformis
Hypnea pannosa
(Spiky ball red seaweed)
Hypnea spinella

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].
  • 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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