Seaweeds at St Leonards

Half an hour’s beachcombing below the Azur pavilion this afternoon revealed several things of interest-as always;

including a lot of piles of a seaweed I’ve not identified before. I took some home to look up, and am pretty sure this was the common Sea Oak Halidrys siliquosa, which has distinctive long bladders like seed pods.

However, there were small reddish tufts growing on this, which I hadn’t noticed when gathering the weed. Much looking through books revealed that this might be an  epiphytic seaweed , Siphon Weed Polysyphonia  sp., which grows on brown seaweeds. The specimen was rather dessicated, but after soaking in water a delicate structure began to appear, as shown in the microscope image.  Fascinating.

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