Savoiea, the warm pink tufts in the image below, is one of the filamentous reds that make you work for a proper identification. Unfortunately, I can’t claim to have done all the work, so I’ll have to say this is probably Savoiea. Whatever way it turns out, from this distance (2-3′), you get the valuable context of seeing it with other wall-dwelling seaweeds and barnacles. However, the intricate beauty of Savoiea is indiscernible. So, in the tradeoff between context and detail, this scene leans pretty strongly to the context, even though it’s from fairly close range.
Closer up, the details of the splash-soaked wall community come into focus. Besides finely-branched Savoiea, the inflated branch tips of Fucus (center right) are spellbinding. And those brown cylinders, they’re a delicious mystery to me—they’re probably Melanosiphon or Scytosiphon. The ever-patient barnacles, those are acorns, Balanus glandula. The intimacy in this sight of high intertidal miniatures is powerful from so near.
I abandoned context when I decided to float three main branches in a finger bowl and zoom even closer to pinpoint the arrangement of the branchlets and their details. According to Marine Algae of California, the recurved branchlets at the base of the branches are a characteristic of Savoiea robusta. If that turns out to be what this lovely red is, getting close and then closer were steps toward its proper identification. (To positively nail it, one might even wish to get closer!)
Head to my seaweed pages for more Savoiea (it’s variable!) and other seaweeds.
Note: The Seaweed Sorter App’s key and photos first led me in the direction of Savoiea.