Queensland Seaweed – Tricleocarpa cylindrica

Red calcareous seaweed (Tricleocarpa cylindrica) on Normanby Island off the Queensland coast.

At least, that’s what I think this is! If I’m wrong, I am sure someone will let me know (please?).  There are several calcareous red seaweeds growing along the Queensland coast. I found two kinds. Tricleocarpa cylindrica is pink when it is growing and still attached – but it fades and bleaches out to white once it is detached and washed ashore.

It forms a clump of repeatedly forked cylindrical branches (Cribb 1996). Some of the branches are slightly corrugate (with ridges) and you can see this if you click and enlarge on the first two photographs of this Post. There is a light calcification giving the plant a degree of stiffness but not so rigid that it cannot be easily crushed. This species was also known as Galaxaura cylindrica and G. oblongata at one time. It lives attached by a disc-like structure subtidally on sheltered and semi-exposed shores. The specimens shown here were found on Normanby Island and Cape Tribulation beaches.

Cribb, A. B. (1996) Seaweeds of Queensland – A Naturalist’s Guide, The Queensland Naturalists’ Club: Handbook No. 2, published by The Queensland Naturalists’ Club Inc., Brisbane, ISBN 0 9595607 1 8.

Close-up of red calcareous seaweed at Normanby Island, part of the Frankland Island group, off the coast of Queensland.

Calcareous seaweed on the beach at Cape Tribulation

Calcareous red seaweed bleached totally white on the sandy beach at Cape Tribulation.

COPYRIGHT JESSICA WINDER 2013

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