Gelidiella calcicola Maggs & Guiry

Gelidium pulchellum

Description: Softly cartilaginous, irregularly branched, entangled, creeping; fronds brick-red, 300-500 µm wide and 10-30 mm long, arising from peg-like insertions into the maerl, often winding around the maerl branchlets. Fronds flattended. Ultimate branches short, pointed at first, later ± spathulate, particularly when reproductive. Appearance variable with habitat and time of year. Reproduction known only in deepest winter and only tetrasporangia reported to date.
Habitat: Growing exclusively on marerl and dead shells from low water to at least 12 m.
Distribution: Scotland, Ireland, Wales, SW England, Brittany, NW Spain. Likely to occur wherever maerl beds are found in the NE Atlantic. Also reported from Argentina.
Key characteristics: Red colour, creeping habit, irregular branching, maerl habitat.