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Gelidium pusillum (Stackhouse) Le Jolis 1863

Empire Eukaryota
Kingdom Plantae
Subkingdom Biliphyta
Phylum Rhodophyta
Subphylum Eurhodophytina
Class Florideophyceae
Subclass Rhodymeniophycidae
Order Gelidiales
Family Gelidiaceae
Genus Gelidium


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Gelidium pusillum (Stackhouse) Le Jolis
Cabrillo National Monument. 07 Sep 2018. © National Park Service U.S. Department of the Interior.

Gelidium pusillum (Stackhouse) Le Jolis
Spiddal, Co. Galway, Ireland; on limpet. 19 Mar 2018. M.D. Guiry. © M.D. Guiry.

Gelidium pusillum (Stackhouse) Le Jolis
White Point, Cork Harbour, Ireland; drift winter plant. 11 Dec 2016. M.D. Guiry. © M.D. Guiry.

Gelidium pusillum (Stackhouse) Le Jolis
Gelidium pusillum, middle intertidal, North of Galicia, Spain, 2013, Ignacio Bárbara" . Ignacio Bárbara. © Igancio Bárbara (barbara@udc.es).

Gelidium pusillum (Stackhouse) Le Jolis
Gelidium pulchellum, middle intertidal rocky pool, South of Galicia, Spain, 2013, Ignacio Bárbara. Ignacio Bárbara. © Igancio Bárbara (barbara@udc.es).

Gelidium pusillum (Stackhouse) Le Jolis
Salthill, Co. Galway, Ireland; vertical artificial surface at HWM. 07 Oct 2013. M.D. Guiry. © M.D. Guiry.

Gelidium pusillum (Stackhouse) Le Jolis
upper intertidal, Ría de Arousa, Galicia, Spain, 2012. Ignacio Bárbara. © Ignacio Bárbara (barbara@udc.es).

Gelidium pusillum (Stackhouse) Le Jolis
Low intertidal at fringing coral reef of Sesoko Island (Okinawa, Japan).. 29 Feb 2012. Eduard and Tamara Titlyanova (etitlyanov@mail.ru). © Eduard and Tamara Titlyanova (etitlyanov@mail.ru).

Gelidium pusillum (Stackhouse) Le Jolis
together Caulacanthus ustullatus, A Coruña, Galicia, Spain, 2008. Ignacio Bárbara. © Ignacio Bárbara (barbara@udc.es).

Gelidium pusillum (Stackhouse) Le Jolis
together Caulacanthus ustullatus, A Coruña, Galicia, Spain, 2008. Ignacio Bárbara. © Ignacio Bárbara (barbara@udc.es).

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Gelidium pusillum (Stackhouse) Le Jolis Salthill, Co. Galway, Ireland; vertical artificial surface at HWM
© M.D. Guiry

Publication details
Gelidium pusillum (Stackhouse) Le Jolis 1863: 139

Published in: Le Jolis, A. (1863). Liste des algues marines de Cherbourg. Mémoires de la Société Impériale des Sciences Naturelles de Cherbourg 10: 5-168, pls I-IV.
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Type species
The type species (holotype) of the genus Gelidium is Gelidium corneum (Hudson) J.V.Lamouroux.

Status of name
This name is of an entity that is currently accepted taxonomically.

Fucus pusillus Stackhouse

Type information
Type locality: Sidmouth, Devon, England (Dixon & Irvine 1977: 129). Lectotype (provisional): BM (Dixon & Irvine 1977: 139).

Origin of species name
Adjective (Latin), very small (Stearn 1973).

Homotypic Synonym(s)
Kaliformia pusilla (Stackhouse) Stackhouse
Fucus pusillus Stackhouse 1795
Chondria pusilla (Stackhouse) W.J.Hooker 1821
Acrocarpus pusillus (Stackhouse) Kützing 1849

Heterotypic Synonym(s)
Fucus hetaerophyllus Clemente 1807
Gelidium repens Okamura 1899

Taxonomic notes
South & Skelton (2003) note that confusion probably occurs between G. pusillum and G. samoense (Santelices et al . 2003). John et al. (2004) cite Gelidium pusillum var. pulvinatum (C. Agardh) Feldmann, G. pulchellum (Turner) Kützing, G. pulvinatum (Kützing) Thuret ex Bornet and G. reptans (Suhr) Kylin as synonyms of this species, but see Fredriksen, Guiry & Rueness (1994) in relation to the separateness of G. pulchellum.

The occurrence of this upper intertidal species world-wide needs investigation. The name may only be applicable to upper-intertidal plants in damp crevices and under fucoids in the north-eastern Atlantic, and even then species limits are not clear. - (17 Aug 2006) - Wendy Guiry

Lipkin & Silva (2002: 9, 10) note that Gelidium crinale and G. pusillum are traditionally recognized as two distinct species (Feldmann & Hamel 1936: 107). They were merged by Dixon & Irvine (1977: 126), based on sequential field observations of marked plants in Britain and more detailed understanding of growth and behaviour. Lipkin & Silva (2002), while having no reason to doubt the validity of this conclusion, note that specimens of 'G. crinale' from the Red Sea and many other parts of the world (Indian Ocean, see Silva et al. 1996: 137) are not conspecific with G. pusillum and they follow traditional, albeit faulty, species concepts in dealing with Red Sea specimens. Womersley & Guiry(1994: 133) note that the type of G. crinale and Australian specimens appear to be distinct from the type of G. pusillum - (31 May 2010) - Wendy Guiry

Habitat notes
Epilithic in the midlittoral, lower littoral and occasionally in the upper sublittoral (Dixon & Irvine 1977: 129). Cosmopolitan; on rock, ca. 1 m depth, on dendroid crustose coralline (Lipkin & Silva 2002: 10). - (31 May 2010) - Wendy Guiry

epilithic in midlittoral, lower littoral and occasionally in upper sublittoral (dixon & Irvine: 129). - (30 Jun 2014) - Wendy Guiry

General environment
This is a marine species.

Common names

(as Gelidium pusillum (Stackhouse) Le Jolis)
Japanese: Hai-tengusa (Chapman & Chapman 1980).

Cartilaginous, purplish or blackish red, turf-forming, 2-10 mm high, arising from an extensive creeping base and incorporating shell debris and small molluscs. Erect fronds flattened and leaf-like and 0.5-2 mm broad.

On rock in upper intertidal forming extensive mat-like growths below Pelvetia canaliculata, particularly on vertical or near-vertical surfaces. Sometimes associated with Catenella caespitosa and Rhodothamniella purpurea. Widely distributed, common.

Key characteristics
Turf formation in the upper intertidal, blackish-red colour when slightly dry, and extensive rhizoids.

Similar species
Catenella caespitosa also forms turf- or mat-like extensions but is softer has has the appearance of small cocktail sausages.

Detailed distribution with sources (Click to Load)

Key references
Athanasiadis, A. (2016). Phycologia Europaea Rhodophyta Vol. I. pp. [i]-xxxxviii, 1-762. Thessaloniki: Published and distributed by the author.

Dawes, C.J. & Mathieson, A.C. (2008). The seaweeds of Florida. pp. [i]- viii, [1]-591, [592], pls I-LI. Gainesville, Florida: University Press of Florida.

Dawson, E.Y., Acleto, C. & Foldvik, N. (1964). The seaweeds of Peru. Beihefte zur Nova Hedwigia 13: 1-111, 81 pls.

Desikachary, T.V., Balakrishnan, M.S. & Krishnamurthy, V. (1990). Florideophycidae Palmariales - Gelidiales. In: Rhodophyta. II. Taxonomy part. Part IIA. (Desikachary, T.V., Krishnamurthy, V. & Balakrishnan, M.S. Eds), pp. 47-214. Madras, India: Madras Science Foundation.

Dixon, P.S. & Irvine, L.M. (1977). Seaweeds of the British Isles. Volume 1. Rhodophyta. Part 1. Introduction, Nemaliales, Gigartinales. pp. [i]-xi, [1]-252, 90 figs. London: British Museum (Natural History).

Dixon, P.S. & Irvine, L.M. (1977). Miscellaneous notes on algal taxonomy and nomenclature. IV. Botaniska Notiser 120: 137-141.

Huisman, J.M., Abbott, I.A., Smith, C.M. (2007). Hawaiian reef plants. pp. [1]-264, numerous colour photographs. Honolulu: A publication of the University of Hawai'i Sea Grant College Program.

Lee, H.-B. & Kim, J.-I. (1995). Notes on gelidiales species from Korea. In: Taxonomy of Economic Seaweeds. (Abbott, I.A. Eds) Vol.5, pp. 161-174. La Jolla, California: California Sea Grant College System.

Lee, H.B. (1994). Some species of Gelidium (Gelidiales, Rhodophyta) from Korea. In: Taxonomy of Economic Seaweeds. (Abbott, I. Eds) Vol.4, pp. 67-79.

Lipkin, Y. & Silva, P.C. (2002). Marine algae and seagrasses of the Dahlak Archipelago, southern Red Sea. Nova Hedwigia 75(1-2): 1-90, 7 figs.

Loiseaux-de Goër, S. & Noailles, M.-C. (2008). Algues de Roscoff. pp. [1]-215, col. figs. Roscoff: Editions de la Station Biologique de Roscoff.

Norris, R.E. & Wynne, M.J. (1969 '1968'). Notes on marine algae of Washington and southern British Columbia. III. Syesis 1: 133-146, 28 figs.

Okamura, K. (1909). Icones of Japanese algae. Vol. II pp. 1-20, pls LI-LV. Tokyo: The Author.

Rodríguez, D. & Santelices, B. (1988). Separation of Gelidium and Pterocladia on vegetative characters. In: Taxonomy of Economic Seaweeds With reference to some Pacific and Caribbean Species Vol. II. (Abbott, I.A. Eds), pp. 115-125. La Jolla: Sea Grant College Program, University of California.

Rodríguez-Prieto, C., Ballesteros, E., Boisset, F. & Afonso-Carrillo, J. (2013). Guía de las macroalgas y fanerógamas marinas del Mediterráneo occidental. pp. [1]-656. Barcelona: Ediciones Omega, S.A..

Santelices, B. & Stewart, J.G. (1985). Pacific species of Gelidium Lamouroux and other Gelidiales (Rhodophyta), with keys and descriptions to the common or economically important species. In: Taxonomy of Economic Seaweds With Refernce to some Paicific and Caribbean Species. (Abbott, I.A. & Norris, J.N. Eds), pp. 17-31. La Jolla: California Sea Grant College Program.

Santelices, B. (1988). Taxonomic studies on Chinese Gelidiales (Rhodophyta). In: Taxonomy of Economic Seaweeds. (Abbott, I.A. Eds) Vol.2, pp. 91-107.

Silva, P.C., Basson, P.W. & Moe, R.L. (1996). Catalogue of the benthic marine algae of the Indian Ocean. University of California Publications in Botany 79: [i]-xiv, 1-1259.

Smith, G.M. (1944). Marine algae of the Monterey Peninsula. pp. i-ix, 1-622, 98 pls. Stanford: Stanford University Press.

Suárez, A.M., Martínez-Daranas, B. & Alfonso, Y. (2015). Macroalgas marinas de Cuba. pp. [1]-264, 229 figs. La Habana [Havana]: UH [Universidad de La Habana] Editorial.

Titlyanov E.A., Titlyanova T.V. & Belous O.S. (2016). Useful marine plants of the Asia-Pacific Region countries. pp. 1-348, Many col. photo. Vladivostok: Dalnauka. [in Russian and English]

Titlyanov, E.A. & Titlyanova, T.V. (2012). Morskiye rasteniya stran Aziatsko-Tikhookeanskogo regiona, ikh ispol'zovaniye i kul'tivirovaniye [Marine plants of the Asian Pacific Region countries, their use and cultivation]. pp. 376, 52 numbered figures, 162 plates. Vladivostok: Dalnauka & A.V. Zhirmunsky Institute of Marine Biology Far East Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences. [in Russian]

Womersley, H.B.S. & Guiry, M.D. (1994). Order Gelidiales Kylin 1923: 132. In: The marine benthic flora of southern Australia. Part IIIA. Bangiophyceae and Florideophyceae (Acrochaetiales, Nemaliales, Gelidiales, Hildenbrandiales and Gigartinales sensu lato). (Womersley, H.B.S. Eds), pp. 118-142. Canberra: Australian Biological Resources Study.

Xia Bangmei [Xia, B.-M.] (2004). Flora algarum marinarum sinicarum Tomus II Rhodophyta No. III Gelidiales Cryptonemiales Hildenbrandiales. pp. [i]-xxi, 1-203, pls I-XIII. Beijing: Science Press. [in Chinese]

Xia, B.M., Tseng, C.K. & Wang, Y.Q. (2002). Synopsis of the Chinese species of Gelidium (Gelidiales, Rhodophyta). In: Taxonomy of Economic Seaweeds with reference to some Pacific species. Vol. VIII. (Abbott, I.A. & Mcdermid, K.J. Eds) Vol.8, pp. 183-205. La Jolla: California Sea Grant College.

Zhang, J.F. & Xia, E. (1988). Chinese species of Gelidium Lamouroux and other Gelidiales (Rhodophyta) with key, list and distribution of common species.. In: Taxonomy of economic seaweeds with reference to some Pacific and Caribbean species. (Abbott, I.A. Eds) Vol.2, pp. 109-113. California Sea Grant College Program.

Created: 30 March 1996 by M.D. Guiry

Verified by: 03 June 2021 by M.D. Guiry

Accesses: This record has been accessed by users 16664 times since it was created.

Verification of data
Users are responsible for verifying the accuracy of information before use, as noted on the website Content page.

(Please note: only references with the binomials in the title are included. The information is from the Literature database.)

Akatsuka, I. (1970). Male organs of Gelidium amansii Lmx., G. pacificum Okam., and G. pusillum (Stackh.) Le Jol.. Bulletin of the Japanese Society for Phycology 18: 112-115. [in Japanese, English summary]
Fredriksen, S., Guiry, M.D. & Rueness, J. (1994). Morphological and biosystematic studies of Gelidium pusillum and G. pulchellum (Gelidiaceae, Rhodophyta) from Europe. Phycologia 33: 462-470.
Kaliaperumal, N. & Umamaheswara Rao, M. (1981). Studies on the standing crop and phycocolloid of Gelidium pusillum and Pterocladia heteroplatos. Indian Journal of Botany 4(2): 91-95, 1 fig, 3 tables.
Kaliaperumal, N. & Umamaheswara Rao, M. (1986). Growth, reproduction & sporulation of marine alga Gelidium pusillum (Stackhouse) Le Jolis. Indian Journal of Marine Sciences 15: 29-32, 2 figs, 1 table.
Kapraun, D.F. & Bailey, J.C. (1989). Karyology and nuclear DNA content of Gelidium pusillum (Gelidiales, Rhodophyta) from North Carolina, USA. Japanese Journal of Phycology 37: 201-207.
Kim, K.M. & Boo, S.M. (2012). Phylogenetic relationships and distribution of Gelidium crinale and G.pusillum (Gelidiales, Rhodophyta) using coxl and rbcl sequences. Algae 27: 83-94.
Mairh, O.P. & Rao, P.S. (1978). Culture studies on Gelidium pusillum (Stackh.) Le Jolis. Botanica Marina 21: 169-174.
Rico, J.M., Horgan, C. & Guiry, M.D. (1996). Latitudinal ecotypes in north-eastern Atlantic populations of Gelidium pusillum (Gelidiaceae; Rhodophyta). In: Irish Marine Science 1995. (Keegan, B.F. & O'connor, R. Eds), pp. 105-116. Galway: Galway University Press.
Rueness, J. & Fredriksen, S. (1998). Intraspecific reproductive variation in Gelidium pusillum (Stackh.) Le Jol. (Gelidiales, Rhodophyta) fom Europe. Journal of Applied Phycology 10: 253-260, 17 figs.

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M.D. Guiry in Guiry, M.D. & Guiry, G.M. 2021. AlgaeBase. World-wide electronic publication, National University of Ireland, Galway. http://www.algaebase.org; searched on 23 October 2021.

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