Mastocarpus cristata: (Gigartina)–The Race Rocks Taxonomy


Mastocarpus a bed of Endocladia sp.Ryan Murphy photo


Phylum: Rhodophyta
Class: Rhodophyceae
Order: Gigartinales
Family: Petrocelidaceae (formerly Gigartinaceae)
Mastocarpus cristata (Setchell) Setchell and Gardner, -or- Gigartina cristata

The photos below are by Ryan Murphy:

Description: This plant is erect, up to 15 cm. high, dark reddish brown in colour, in clusters, attached to the substrate by a small discoid holdfast.   The erect branches are flattened, with branching dichotomous.  The flat dichotomies are generally narrow and often twisted. The surface of the plant is at first smooth, later developing many small papillate outgrowths.  One tetrasporangiate life stage known as petrocelis is shown in pictures below.

Habitat: On rocks in the lower intertidal zone.

Pacific Coast Distribution:  British Columbia to Mexico.

Robert Scagel, 1972

See other members of the Phylum Rhodophyta, Red Algae.

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pearsonlogo2_f2The Race Rocks taxonomy is a collaborative venture originally started with the Biology and Environmental Systems students of Lester Pearson College UWC. It now also has contributions added by Faculty, Staff, Volunteers and Observers on the remote control webcams. Ryan Murphy