Oyster thief (Colpomenia peregrina)
|Researched by||Judith Oakley||Refereed by||Admin|
|Other common names||-||Synonyms||-|
Colpomenia peregrina is a non-gelatinous brown alga. It is greenish-olive in colour with fine brown dots. It forms a thin-walled hollow sphere, usually 1-7 cm in diameter. It may be confused with the native Leathesia difformis which is lobed with a gelatinous surface. Colpomenia peregrina is dry and papery to the touch and can be torn easily.
Recorded distribution in Britain and IrelandColpomenia peregrina is distributed throughout Britain with larger populations on western coasts.
Global distributionColpomenia peregrina has a world-wide distribution ini temperate waters. In Europe it is found from Iberia to southern Norway.
HabitatColpomenia peregrina occurs on rock, other seaweeds and shells. The species is usually epiphytic, growing on a variety of seaweeds in mid-tide rockpools and down to the sub-littoral region. It thrives in sheltered areas.
- A thin-walled sphere.
- Greenish-olive with brown spots.
- Usually 1-7 cm in diameter.
Colpomenia peregrina occurs naturally in the Pacific Ocean. It was introduced to France with with juvenile Crassostrea virginica from the Pacific coast of North America. Colpomenia peregrina was introduced in 1907 from France into Cornwall and Dorset. It has negligible effects on the environment. In other countries, it grows attached to oysters and floats away with the oyster when the air-filled thalli grow large enough. Hence the common name of oyster thief.
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This review can be cited as:
Last Updated: 29/05/2008