Green Feather Algae (Caulerpa sertularioides) – Complete Guide

Green Feather Algae

Green Feather Algae, or Caulerpa sertularioides, is a type of seaweed found in warm water environments. It belongs to the Caulerpaceae family.

This seaweed species is known for its unique appearance and ability to grow in various coastal and estuarine habitats.

How Does Green Feather Algae Look Like?

Thallus and Size

Green Feather Algae has a pale to dark-green thallus, which is the main plant body.

It typically grows outward to around 1.15 to 6.56 ft (0.35 to 2 meters).

Feather-like Fronds

Green Feather Algae has fronds that look like feathers. These fronds come from a common stolon, which is a horizontal stem that grows along the ground.

Each frond is upright and branched, giving it the appearance of a feather.

Branchlets and Tips

The fronds have branchlets that are arranged opposite to each other. These branchlets are cylindrical to needle-shaped, with upcurved tips and a blunt point at the end.

Each branchlet has a length of 0.118 to 0.433 in (3 to 11 millimeters) and is attached to a cylindrical axis in the middle with a diameter of 0.039 to 0.059 in (1 to 1.5 mm).

Stolons and Rhizoids

The axis connects each frond to a creeping stolon, which has a diameter of 0.079 to 0.098 in (2 to 2.5 mm) and a length of up to 7 feet (2 meters).

The stolons branch out to slim points, and rhizoids form from the bottom surface.

These rhizoids fork and penetrate the sandy substrate, firmly anchoring the seaweed to the seafloor.

What Is the History of Green Feather Algae?

First Description and Taxonomy

Green Feather Algae was first formally described by botanist and taxonomist Marshall Avery Howe in 1905 in his work “Phycological studies – II. New Chlorophyceae, new Rhodophyceae and miscellaneous notes,” published in the Bulletin of the Torrey Botanical Club.

The basionym or the original name of this species was Fucus sertularioides, which was described by Samuel Gottlieb Gmelin in 1768.

Where Can You Find Green Feather Algae?

Geographical Distribution

Green Feather Algae is found widely in tropical waters. In the United States, it’s found from North Carolina to Florida.

It’s also found throughout the Caribbean around Bermuda, Bahamas, Greater and Lesser Antilles, and in the Gulf of Mexico and the southern Atlantic Ocean to Brazil.

In the Pacific Ocean, it’s found along the Great Barrier Reef in Australia, Papua New Guinea, the Philippines, and Palau.

In Western Australia, it’s found along the coast in the Kimberley region, extending south to the Gascoyne.


Green Feather Algae is usually part of coastal and estuarine environments, where it grows in sandy areas, seagrass beds, or on and around mangrove roots.

Green Feather Algae is mostly found in shallow waters, at depths of around 33 feet (10 meters), although sparse individuals have been found at depths of up to 361 feet (110 meters).

Why Is Green Feather Algae Important?

Green Feather Algae is a pretty algae species that is loved by green sea turtles and sea slugs in the shallow waters around Munyon Island.

It provides food and shelter for various marine animals, contributing to the biodiversity of coastal ecosystems.

Caulerpa sertularioides Characteristics

Care Level:Easy
Growth Rate:Fast
Nutrient Uptake:Excellent
Required Lighting:Moderate
Required Water Flow:Low Moderate
Is Palatable?Yes
Maximum Size:8 in (20.3 cm)

Scientific Classification

Scientific Name:Caulerpa sertularioides
Also Known As:Green Feather Algae
Conservation Status:Unknown

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