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Species Guide » 01. Green algae » Acetabularia acetabulum ca / es

Scientific name: Acetabularia acetabulum

(Linnaeus) P.C. Silva

Common Name: Cat: Acetabularia mediterrania, Cast: Seta de mar, Ing: Mermaid’s wineglass, It: Ombrellino di mare

Group: 01. Green algae

Area type: Shallow dive

Depth: Up to 20 m

Measures: Up to 8 cm, upper disc diameter 1 cm

How does is it look like?

It is characterized by its shape, like a little white-greenish rifling radially umbrella. It can reach 1'5 cm of diameter. Of here the name comes, etymologically from Latin; acetabulum means disc or saucer. This alga has a long and thin peduncle for holding upon the soil, and allows it to reach until 10 cm tall. It is calcified.


Where does it live?

Infralitoral zone, in calm and well-illuminated waters. Though it is present all the whole year, in winter it loses the disc and only conserves the peduncle. During the summer, it often forms very extensive populations on rocky bottoms near to the surface.


How does it reproduce?

 The disc is the reproductive organ and between the radiuses you can find the necessary sexual cells for carrying out the process. It also can reproduce asexually by fragmentation or regeneration of the rhizoids.


Is there any confusion possible?

 No. Though it has several synonymous, as Acetabularia mediterranea J.V. Lamouroux or Acetabulum marinum Tournefort, it is an alga with sufficient particularities to recognize it well.



· It is a single-celled alga, only one, with the core placed in the peduncle. Generally, alive single-cell organisms are very small, but Acetabularia acetabulum (Linnaeus) P.C. Silva measures even 10 cm. This implies that it is a green giant alga, and for these particularities is very used in genetic and molecular studies.

· Acetabularia acetabulum is considered as the main food for the nudibranch Elysia timida.



Kingdom: Plantae, Subkingdom: Viridaeplantae, Phylum: Chlorophyta, Class: Ulvophyceae, Order: Dasycladales, Family: Polyphysaceae, Genus: Acetabularia

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