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Seaweeds > Division Rhodophyta
Crunchy pom-pom red seaweed
awaiting identification*
updated Jan 13

Where seen? These crunchy pinkish ball-shaped 'pom-pom's are sometimes seen in on all our shores on coral rubble as well as among seagrasses.

Features: A cluster (3-8cm) of many thin, stiff, cylindrical 'stems' that are branched. Clusters usually bushy, pom-pom shaped although some hug the hard surface forming layers of branching shapes. The seaweed incorporates calcium carbonate making the 'stems' hard and brittle. So the seaweeds crunch when stepped upon (but try to NOT to step on them). Colours range from pinkish and lilac to deep magenta and purple.

There are many pinkish seaweeds with a pom pom shape that belong to Family Corallinaceae or Family Galaxauraceae. They are often difficult to distinguish to species without microscopic examination.

Cosy home: All kinds of tiny creatures are sometimes seen among the 'branches'. From small snails to tiny seahorses. Seastars, especially juveniles, are often abundant on 'meadows' of these crunchy seaweed.

Growing in clumps on coral rubble near reefs.
Sisters Island, Feb 08

Tiny seahorse among the branches!
Changi, Jul 06

Growing among sponges on rocks.
Sentosa, Sep 08

Growing on an abandoned rope
in seagrass meadows.
Changi, May 11

Loose tangles growing among seagrasses
forming a crunchy carpet.

Cyrene Reef, Apr 08

Crunchy pom-pom red seaweeds on Singapore shores

'Stems' short, slender
with white rounded 'caps' on the tips,
forming a spherical bush
or tangled carpet.
'Stems' short, thick
with darker pink dot at the tips,
forming a spherical bush.
Branched along one plane forming
Y-shapes, with white squarish 'caps' on the tips. Grows flat against
a hard surface, instead of forming
a spherical bushy shape.

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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