Lithothamnion tophiforme Unger (A)

At least in its rhodolith form this species is highly distinctive with long branched outgrowths and a purplish hue (Image A). However, the attached morphology can be reminiscent of a variety of smooth crustose corallines although they bear a few protuberances bringing to mind a denuded Lithothamnion glaciale Kjellman (Image B). DNA is necessary for identification.

We have only four genetically verified specimens assigned to this species, all from 16-20 m near Bonne Bay, NL. The full morphological, ecological, and biogeographical range of this genetic group thus awaits addition study, but it is apparently rare in our flora.

GWS007315Image A. Typical rhodolith form from the subtidal (20 m) (Maerl bed (btw Deer Arm & East Arm), Bonne Bay, NL; GWS007315).

GWS007327.JPGImage B. Smooth attached form (a few protuberances evident) from the subtidal (20 m) (Maerl bed (btw Deer Arm & East Arm), Bonne Bay, NL; GWS007327).