A red seaweed (Vertebrata reptabunda)

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



Lophosiphonia reptabunda is a small dark brown seaweed up to 2 cm in length with a fairly rigid texture. The axes is formed of many filiments (polysiphonous). It forms dense mats 0.5-2 cm thick consisting of intertwined erect and non-erect stems, often interconnected by rhizoids (rootlets springing from the sides and base of the stem). Branching is frequently at irregular intervals, often in pairs on opposite sides of the dorsal midline on successive or alternate segments.

Recorded distribution in Britain and Ireland

This rare species has been recorded in Cork and Argyll.

Global distribution

British Isles to Portugal, recorded from the Mediterranean, the Black Sea, and the Pacific Ocean.


Lophosiphonia reptabunda grows on bedrock, pebbles and the holdfast of Fucus vesiculosus on shaded rock faces. The species inhabits the upper intertidal zone and muddy or sandy shores near extreme low water.

Depth range


Identifying features

  • Dark brown in colour.
  • Rigid texture.
  • Up to 2 cm in length.

Additional information

There is relatively little variation in this species, except that erect stems can either be simple or bear a twisted arrangement of lateral branches (Maggs & Hommersand 1993).

Listed by

- none -


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

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

  3. Maggs, C.A. & Hommersand, M.H., 1993. Seaweeds of the British Isles: Volume 1 Rhodophycota Part 3A Ceramiales. London: Natural History Museum, Her Majesty's Stationary Office.


  1. NBN (National Biodiversity Network) Atlas. Available from: https://www.nbnatlas.org.

  2. OBIS (Ocean Biodiversity Information System),  2024. Global map of species distribution using gridded data. Available from: Ocean Biogeographic Information System. www.iobis.org. Accessed: 2024-07-14

  3. Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, 2018. Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh Herbarium (E). Occurrence dataset: https://doi.org/10.15468/ypoair accessed via GBIF.org on 2018-10-02.


This review can be cited as:

Edwards, R.V. 2003. Vertebrata reptabunda A red seaweed. In Tyler-Walters H. and Hiscock K. Marine Life Information Network: Biology and Sensitivity Key Information Reviews, [on-line]. Plymouth: Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom. [cited 14-07-2024]. Available from: https://www.marlin.ac.uk/species/detail/1965

Last Updated: 01/08/2003