Green Bubble Seaweed (Dictyosphaeria cavernosa) – Complete Guide

Green Bubble Seaweed Featured Image

Green Bubble Seaweed is a type of green algae known by its scientific name, Dictyosphaeria cavernosa. It belongs to the class Ulvophyceae and the family Siphonocladaceae.

There are only three species in this family, and Green Bubble Seaweed is one of them.

What Does Green Bubble Seaweed Looks Like?

Green Bubble Seaweed is a multicellular algae with a unique appearance. It has multiple bumps or bubbles on its surface, giving it the name “Green Bubble Seaweed.”

It’s hollow on the inside, which sets it apart from its sister species, D. versluysii, which looks similar but is solid.

Green Bubble Seaweed can grow to be about 12 cm in diameter and has a green-yellow color when young.


The thallus of Green Bubble Seaweed is sessile, sack-like, and rigid. It can be found growing singly or in groups, and it’s nearly spherical in shape.

It can grow up to 12 cm in diameter and is light green to dark green in color.

When young, the thallus is solid, but as it gets older, it becomes compressed, hollow, and irregularly lobed.


The cells of Green Bubble Seaweed are polygonal, or many-sided, and are 0.6 to 1.0 mm in diameter.

They are attached to each other by numerous hapteroid (tenacular) cells. These hapteroid cells are cylindrical and have fimbriate margins.

They are 35 to 45 mm wide and 25 to 50 mm long, and they are arranged alternately opposite one another.

Spines and Rhizoids

Green Bubble Seaweed has intracellular spines (trabeculae) that are only present at the base.

The rhizoids of the algae are basal, simple, or sometimes branched.


Green Bubble Seaweed grows on rocks, stones, dead corals, and larger algae in the middle and low intertidal zone to subtidal areas that are up to 40 meters deep.

Where Can Green Bubble Seaweed Be Found?

Green Bubble Seaweed is widespread in tropical and subtropical waters of the Atlantic, Indian, and Pacific Oceans.

It’s found all over the world, but it’s especially common in South-East Asia.

It grows on rocks in shallow reef areas, making it a common sight in these regions.

On the island of Oahu, Green Bubble Seaweed is often found in the Kaneohe Bay area. It usually grows in the crevices of rock formations around rocky tidal pools.

At first glance, it may look like a green rock, but upon closer inspection, you can see that it’s actually Green Bubble Seaweed.

How Does Green Bubble Seaweed Grows?

Green Bubble Seaweed spreads quickly when it has access to nutrients.

There are times throughout the year when it grows more abundantly due to the availability of these nutrients.

In the 1960s and 1970s, an increase in sewage discharge led to a higher nutrient content in the water, which in turn caused the Green Bubble Seaweed to grow more rapidly.

What Is the Environmental Impact of Green Bubble Seaweed?

The growth of Green Bubble Seaweed can be harmful to coral reefs and other organisms.

When it spreads, it can cover the reef in a thick layer, killing the reef and other living things.

Scientists have been studying the physical, biological, and chemical aspects of the reefs to find ways to reduce the growth of the algae.

By decreasing the source of nutrients for the algae, they were able to reduce its growth by 1977.

You can check out what this plant looks like over here.

Dictyosphaeria cavernosa Characteristics

Required Lighting:Various
Is Palatable?Somewhat
Maximum Size:5 in (12.7 cm)

Scientific Classification

Scientific Name:Dictyosphaeria cavernosa
Also Known As:Green Bubble Seaweed
Conservation Status:Unknown

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