Laminaria ochroleuca Bachelot de la Pylaie


Names: Golden Kelp (English). Ceilp Ór (Irish); includes Laminaria pallida var. iberica Hamel
Description: 1.5-2 m in length when mature; frond borne on a stiff, erect, cylindrical stipe that snaps when it is bent, rarely with heavy covering of epithpytes; stipe expanding to a single frond with a golden-brown colour, particulalry at the base of the frond in the area of growth; frond generally cleft into irregular laciniate segments.
Distinguishing features:
Similar to Laminaria hyperborea but with lighter-coloured fronds. Caution is required in identification as young plants of Laminaria hyperboreaare often light-coloured. Records from areas with no previous records require DNA confirmation.
Habitat: ELWS to 20 m.
Distribution: W Ireland (rare and only recently reported) and SW Britain (since 1940s) south to Morocco, Canary Islands Spanish Sahara; records from Namibia require further investigation in relation to Laminaria pallida Greville. Since the 1940s the species seems to be extending its range northwards, perhaps aided by leisure craft. The species has recently been found in the shallow subtidal of Béal an Mhuirthead, County Mayo by Schoenrock & al. (2019)
Photograph: ELWS, Salcome, Devon, UK. © M.D. Guiry

Species list