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Marine Animal Encyclopedia

Sea Grapes Caulerpa racemosa

This seaweed has creeping stolons (stems) that anchor it to rocks or in sand, and from which arise upright shoots covered with round sacs, or vesicles, hence the common name sea grapes. Each plant is a single huge cell. Old plants may become densely branched and entangled, growing to 6 ft (2 m) across. There are many varieties of sea grapes, and around 60 species of Caulerpa worldwide.

Killer seaweed

A strain of Caulerpa taxifolia that is widely used in marine aquariums is an invasive species. It is toxic to grazers, grows rapidly, and forms a dense, smothering carpet on the seabed. In 1984 it was discovered in the Mediterranean off Monaco, and has since spread rapidly along the coast, altering native marine communities.

Sea Grapes habitat mapzoom image
  • Class Bryopsidophyceae
  • Height Up to 12 in (30 cm)
  • Habitat Shallow sand and rock
  • Water_temperature 59–86°F (15–30°C)
  • Distribution Warm waters worldwide