( Chaetomorpha mediterranea )

/ / Marine Flora


Description Chaetomorpha mediterranea is a sponge-like mass with an unbranched filament (1; 2); the thallus is long, reaching up to 1m, with a width of 30-40μm (1). C. mediterranea can either be attached to rocks or shells by its holdfast, or be free-floating (2); it has a grass-green to yellow-green colouration (1). There are 11 species with the genus Chaetomorpha (3); none of the species are listed under the IUCN Redlist (4).


C. mediterranea is found in the sub-littoral zone under brackish water conditions or in estuaries; it is usually found on either rocky substrates or on other algae (1).

Life Cycle

Both the typical quadriflagellate zoospores and biflagellate gametes are produced (5); unmated gametes are also able to regenerate and produce new haploid filaments (2).


C. mediterranea is distributed across the European Atlantic coast and the Mediterranean, particularly western Mediterranean (1).


C. mediterranea uses photosynthesis, as well as requiring various inorganic nutrients, such as carbon dioxide, phosphorus and fixed nitrogen (2).

Conservation Status

Not listed under the IUCN Redlist (4).


Description written by Ben Harvey (2009) (1)   Cabioc’H, J., Floc’H, J. & Le Toquin, A., 1992. Guide mes algues des mers d’Europe. Paris: Delachaux et Niestle. (2)   Graham, L.E. & Wilcox, L.W., 2000. Algae. New Jersey: Prentice-Hall Inc. (3)   ITIS, 2009. ITIS Standard Report Page: Anadyomene. [Online] Available at: http://www.itis.gov/servlet/SingleRpt/SingleRpt?search_topic=TSN&search_value=6878 [Accessed 1 September 2009]. (4)   IUCN, 2009. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. [Online] (2009.1) Available at: www.iucnredlist.org [Accessed 01 September 2009]. (5)   Köhler, K., 1956. Entwicklungsgeschichte, Geschlectsbestimmung und Befruchtung bei Chaetomorpha. Archiv für Protistenkunde, 101, pp.223-68.