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

A red seaweed (Lomentaria articulata)

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



A small (up to 10 cm tall) dark brown to red alga. The thallus is conspicuously constricted giving a segmented appearance. Starting almost at the base, many branches grow out of each constriction, the bead-like segments becoming gradually smaller towards the tip of the branch. The plant is very shiny and the tips of branches may be bleached pink or orange.

Recorded distribution in Britain and Ireland

Lomentaria articulata is found all around the British Isles with plants from the south and west of Ireland tending to be larger than those found elsewhere.

Global distribution



Found on rocks and in pools on the middle and lower shore, particularly in shady places, under other algae and overhangs. It is found sublittorally to depths of at least 18 m and exceptionally large, luxuriant plants have been found growing on Laminaria hyperborea stipes.

Depth range


Identifying features

  • Up to 10 cm tall.
  • Dark brown to red in colour.
  • Thallus is segmented like a string of sausages.
  • Tips may be bleached pink or orange.

Additional information

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Listed by

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Further information sources

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  1. Dickinson, C.I., 1963. British seaweeds. London & Frome: Butler & Tanner Ltd.

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

  3. Hardy, F.G. & Guiry, M.D., 2003. A check-list and atlas of the seaweeds of Britain and Ireland. London: British Phycological Society

  4. Hiscock, S., 1986b. A field key to the British Red Seaweeds. Taunton: Field Studies Council. [Occasional Publication No.13]

  5. 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.]

  6. Irvine, L.M., 1983. Seaweeds of the British Isles vol. 1. Rhodophyta Part 2A. Cryptonemiales (sensu stricto), Palmariales, Rhodymeniales. London: British Museum (Natural History).

  7. JNCC (Joint Nature Conservation Committee), 1999. Marine Environment Resource Mapping And Information Database (MERMAID): Marine Nature Conservation Review Survey Database. [on-line]

  8. National Biodiversity Network (NBN) Atlas website. Available from:  Accessed 01 April 2017


This review can be cited as:

Pizzolla, P.F 2008. Lomentaria articulata A red seaweed. 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. [cited 21-09-2018]. Available from:

Last Updated: 03/06/2008