MarLIN

information on the biology of species and the ecology of habitats found around the coasts and seas of the British Isles

Velvet horn (Codium tomentosum)

Distribution data supplied by the Ocean Biogeographic Information System (OBIS). To interrogate UK data visit the NBN Atlas.

Summary

Description

A small green alga (up to 30 cm long) with a dichotomously branched, cylindrical frond. The frond is solid and spongy with a felt-like touch and has many colourless hairs which can be seen when the plant is immersed in water. The holdfast is disc-like and formed from many fine threads.

Recorded distribution in Britain and Ireland

Codium tomentosum occurs mainly in the south west of the UK and is becoming quite rare. Both pollution and competition with Codium fragile have been suggested as potential causes of its decline.

Global distribution

-

Habitat

It attaches to exposed rocks and occurs in rock pools on the lower shore.

Depth range

-

Identifying features

  • Small green seaweed, up to 30 cm long.
  • Dichotomously branching with a cylindrical frond.
  • Felt-like to the touch.
  • Disc like holdfast made from fine threads.

    Additional information

    Codium tomentosum can be confused with Codium fragile. However, Codium tomentosum tends to have a more slender frond with rounded tips whereas Codium fragile has pointed tips to the frond.

    Listed by

    - none -

    Further information sources

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    Bibliography

    1. Burrows, E.M., 1991. Seaweeds of the British Isles. Volume 2. Chlorophyta. London: British Museum (Natural History).

    2. Fish, J.D. & Fish, S., 1996. A student's guide to the seashore. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

    3. Hayward, P., Nelson-Smith, T. & Shields, C. 1996. Collins pocket guide. Sea shore of Britain and northern Europe. London: HarperCollins.

    4. Howson, C.M. & Picton, B.E., 1997. The species directory of the marine fauna and flora of the British Isles and surrounding seas. Belfast: Ulster Museum. [Ulster Museum publication, no. 276.]

    5. JNCC (Joint Nature Conservation Committee), 1999. Marine Environment Resource Mapping And Information Database (MERMAID): Marine Nature Conservation Review Survey Database. [on-line] http://www.jncc.gov.uk/mermaid

    6. National Biodiversity Network (NBN) Atlas website. Available from: http://www.nbnatlas.org.  Accessed 01 April 2017

    7. Trowbridge, C.D., 1998. Ecology of the green macroalga Codium fragile (Suringar) Hariot 1889: invasive or non-invasive subspecies. Oceanography and Marine Biology: an Annual Review, 36, 1-64.

    Citation

    This review can be cited as:

    Pizzolla, P.F 2007. Codium tomentosum Velvet horn. In Tyler-Walters H. and Hiscock K. (eds) Marine Life Information Network: Biology and Sensitivity Key Information Reviews, [on-line]. Plymouth: Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom. Available from: http://www.marlin.ac.uk/species/detail/1474

    Last Updated: 13/08/2007