Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute
Marine Botany

Bryopsis corticulans

Bryopsis (bryopsis meaning "moss like") is a gorgeous small green algae found in the Pacific Ocean. When placed in water, it fans out like beautiful underwater peacock which is why it reminds me of a feather princess. The focus of this website, Bryopsis corticulans, can be found all along the coast of North America (Vancouver Island, Canada to Baja California), but it is most commonly found in Monterey, California (see distribution in the ecology section).

Bryopsis is in the unique category of being a siphonous green algae (see taxonomy) because it's unicellular, but multinucleate (multiple nuclei). Usually, most unicellular organisms are microscopic due to physical limitations when it comes to nutrient absorption or gas exchange. Despite having no cell walls within the thallus (plant body), Bryopsis has evolved several special features to overcome the size limitations of being unicellular. B. corticulans can grow up to 15cm in length (see morphology for more details about B. corticulans' cellular structure and features).

Want to learn more? Then start clicking and discover for yourself why Bryopsis corticulans is such a beauty!

Last updated: Feb. 05, 2009