Lithophyllum [The Complete Guide for Beginners]


Lithophyllum is a fascinating group of red algae. It’s not like the seaweed you might think of when you hear the word “algae.”

Instead, it’s thalloid, meaning it’s flat and spread out, not stringy. It’s part of a family called the Corallinaceae.

What Are Some of the Species of Lithophyllum?

There are many species of Lithophyllum. Some of them even have fancy names like “Lithophyllum stictaeforme” and “Lithophyllum okamurae.”

They can be found on rocks, and some are even as small as 3 cm.

Examples of Lithophyllum Species

  • Lithophyllum stictaeforme,
  • Lithophyllum orbiculatum,
  • Lithophyllum okamurae, etc.

When and Where Can We Find Lithophyllum?

Lithophyllum has been around for a long, long time. We’re talking millions of years.

They’ve been found in fossils from about 418.7 million years ago to now. Imagine dinosaurs walking past these tiny algae!

They’ve been found all over the world, in places like Europe, the United States, South America, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, India, Japan, and Australia.

What Does Lithophyllum Grow?

Lithophyllum grows close to the surface it’s on, kind of like a thin crust on a slice of bread. But it’s not bread, it’s a rock.

It’s made up of a bunch of tiny filaments, which are like little threads. And to keep itself clean and healthy, it sheds its top layer every so often, like a snake shedding its skin.

How Does Lithophyllum Reproduce?

Reproduction in Lithophyllum is a bit different than in animals. It uses something called conceptacles. These are like little pockets where it grows its reproductive cells.

It’s not quite like having babies, but it’s the algae version of it.

What’s Special About Lithophyllum?

Lithophyllum has some cool features. For example, some types produce bispores instead of tetraspores. Think of them as different types of seeds.

This happens more in colder areas, like the north of the British Isles.

Plus, Lithophyllum loves rocky surfaces. In Southern California, it’s the king of the rocks below 25 meters in the ocean.

Lithophyllum Characteristics

Care Level:Moderate
Growth Rate:Slow
Nutrient Uptake:None
Required Lighting:Moderate High
Required Water Flow:Moderate High
Is Palatable?No
Maximum Size:8 in (20.3 cm)

Scientific Classification

Scientific Name:Lithophyllum
Conservation Status:Unknown

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