Getting Close and Closer to Savoiea

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.

A vertical wall crowed with a mix of Fucus, Savoiea, brown cylinders, and acorn barnacles
Warm pink tufts of Savoiea among other rock wall inhabitants

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.

Intimate view of Fucus, Savoiea, brown cylinders, and acorn barnacles
Savoiea on a splash-soaked wall

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!)

Closeup on three branches floating in a finger bowl
Savoiea branches floating in a finger bowl

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.

Close and Closer


  1. What a wonderful display, Steve. I really love your arrangement in the finger bowl. I wonder if you could zoom in ever closer? It would be interesting to see the filaments/branches up close.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s