Ectocarpus Ectocarpus siliculosus
Ectocarpus is a hair-like brown algae found in pools at high tide levels, often seen as a fine hairy growth on other algae, particularly Hormosera. Its form and growth pattern is diffuse.
It is attached by rhizoids to the lower cells. It doesn't have a base stem. There is much irregular branching from the base, with lateral branches throughout, gradually tapering, to form into long false hairs.
Light brown to buff coloured.
Ranges from southern Queensland, around southern shores to at least Rottnest Island, Western Australia, including Tasmania. Widely distributed in temperate and tropical seas.
Often seen as a hairy growth in pools often attached to other algae, such as Neptune's Necklace, Hormosera banksii.
A common genus credited with numerous species, many of them probably synonyms. Very difficult to distinguish separate species.
When you visit a rocky pool, look among clumps of Neptune's Necklace and see if you can find and strands or clumps of Ectocarpus attached there?
Can you find any animals that live in this habitat ?
Bennett, I. (1987) W.J. Dakin's classic study: Australian Seashores. p.139, Angus & Robertson, Sydney.
Davey, K. (1998) A Photographic Guide to Seashore Life of Australia. p.23, New Holland, Sydney.
Womersley, H.B.S. (1987) The Marine Benthic Flora of Southern Australia. pt. 2. p. 33, South Australian Government Printer, Adelaide.