Bringing out the Red in Rhodophyta

The intertidal can be a drab place, it usually is where I wander. In these images I’ve made it all the more so by dialing down the colors to grayscale. Everything but the reds.

A patch patch of Plocamium looks good against the surrounding grays.

Below, a red epiphyte, probably something like Antithamnionella pacifica. The genus name is a mouthful, eh? I don’t wish to be an enabler, but if you find Antithamnionella a pronunciation challenge, it also goes by hooked or red skein. Antithamnionella favors bull kelp stipes. This bunch, a little worse for wear, arrived on the beach aboard its drifted host.

If you want to see more Pacific northwest reds, visit my Rodophyta page where you’ll find lots of images of the common forms.



    1. Thank you Tina. It’s a true story. I tried it first with a crab and a purplish-brown red algae. There were issues. I have a sense selective color would work wonderfully on the pink tips of pink-tipped green anemones. So watch out.

  1. What a timely post, just yesterday I was tripping out on some super-intense red lichens on hilltop sandstone out in the western San Joaquin Desert. Red pigment is a lifelong obsession with me! Want to know more about selective color in photography now. & I highly recommend Steve’s Rodophyta page if only for the common names: Bleached Brunette, Beauty Bush, etc.

    1. Mike, I should have known that or at least made the connection. Few people have delved into the mysterious ecology and evolution of red pigment in nature the way you have! So great to connect over this post. And you are so right about the common names, bald sea hair, black pine, and cup and saucer to mention a few beside the ones you already mentioned. Thanks for plugging my red algae page. I’m making a ton of much needed updates, including a bunch more species.

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