Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute
Marine Botany

Codium setchellii

The Encrusting Dead Man's Fingers

The intertidal is home to some of the most fascinating algae in the ocean, but none is more unusual than the encrusting Codium setchellii. This green alga looks like mere squishy green blobs, but in reality is so much more. From the individual "pin cushions" on rocks and boulders to the seemingly monstrous crusts covering large areas of bedrock, C. setchellii is a remarkable alga to behold in the field.

Occurring from the middle intertidal zone to the high subtidal, C. setchellii ranges from Alaska to Baja California. Usually forming a thick, round crust, each individual is actually comprised of a single cell wrapped around itself over and over. It is host to unique ecological interactions, hosting epiphytes and evolving unique relations with intertidal invertebrates.

Choose one of the following links to learn more about this unusual alga:

| Taxonomy | Distribution | Habitat | Structure & Morphology |

| Cellular Structure | Reproduction & Life History | Ecology | Epiphytes |

| References & Image Credits | Acknowledgements |

© 2005 Raúl Nava.
Text and images freely available for personal, educational use (please credit).
Please e-mail me (rnava@stanfordalumni.org) for any other use (including publication or commercial use).
Last updated: Feb. 05, 2009