Chorda filum

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"Mermaid's tresses" redirects here. For Mermaid's hair, see Cladophora.
Dead man's rope
Chorda filum
Chorda filum Crouan.jpg
Scientific classification
Domain: Eukaryota
(unranked): SAR
Superphylum: Heterokonta
Class: Phaeophyceae
Order: Laminariales
Family: Chordaceae
Genus: Chorda
Species: C. filum
Binomial name
Chorda filum
(Linnaeus) Stackhouse, 1797
  • Fucus filum Linnaeus 1753
  • Ceramium filum (Linnaeus) R.H.Wiggers 1780
  • Chordaria filum (Linnaeus) C.Agardh 1817
  • Scytosiphon filum (Linnaeus) C.Agardh 1820
  • Chondrus filum (Linnaeus) J.V.Lamouroux 1824
  • Chorda filum var. thrix W.J.Hooker
  • Fucus filiformis Strøm 1762
  • Chorda filum var. subtomentosa Areschoug 1875
  • Chorda filum f. subtomentosa (Areschoug) Kjellman 1883

Chorda filum, commonly known as dead man's rope or sea lace among other names, is a species of brown algae in the genus Chorda. It is widespread in the temperate waters of the northern hemisphere. The species also has numerous other common names related to its physical appearance. Names include mermaid's tresses, cat's gut, bootlace weed, seatwine, and mermaid's fishing line.[2][3]


C. filum have typically long, unbranched and hollow rope-like brown fronds about 5 mm (0.20 in) in diameter but can reach to lengths of 8 m (26 ft). The holdfast is disc-shaped. C. filum is found in sheltered marine and brackish bodies of water at depths of 5 m (16 ft). They are usually anchored to loose substrates like gravel and pebbles or other macroalgae and eelgrass. C. filum grow at an average of 17 cm (6.7 in) per month. They are annuals and die during winter.[2][4]


  1. ^ M.D. Guiry (2011). M. D. Guiry & G. M. Guiry, eds. "Chorda filum (Linnaeus) Stackhouse, 1797". AlgaeBase. National University of Ireland, Galway. World Register of Marine Species. Retrieved February 7, 2012. 
  2. ^ a b Nicola White & Stefan Kraan. "BIOTIC Species Information for Chorda filum". MarLIN (Marine Life Information Network). Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom. Retrieved February 7, 2012. 
  3. ^ M.D. Guiry (2012). "Chorda filum (Linnaeus) Stackhouse". AlgaeBase. National University of Ireland. Retrieved February 7, 2012. 
  4. ^ Nicola White (2006). "Sea lace or Dead man's rope - Chorda filum". Marine Life Information Network: Biology and Sensitivity Key Information Sub-programme. Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom. Retrieved February 7, 2012.