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Dead man's fingers (Codium fragile) off the Massachusetts coast
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Chlorophyta
Class: Bryopsidophyceae
Order: Bryopsidales
Family: Codiaceae
Genus: Codium
Stackhouse, 1797
Type species
Codium tomentosum
Stackhouse, 1797

See text

Codium cylindricum Holmes, type definition herbarium specimen.

Codium is a genus of seaweed in the Chlorophyta of the Order Bryopsidales. There are about 50 species worldwide. [1]


The genus has thalli of two forms, either erect or prostrate. The erect plants are dichotomously branched to 40 cm long with branches forming a compact spongy structure, not calcareous. The final branches form a surface layer of close palisade cortex of utricles. The non-erect species form either a prostrate or globular thallus with a velvet-like surface, the final branches forming a close cortex of utricles. [2]



Two of these species are very rare in Ireland. Codium adhaerens has been recorded from a few sites on the west coast and from Tory Island on the north coast in County Donegal. In 1837 it was found in Church Bay in County Antrim,[3] but has not been found there since.

There are other species of "doubtful validity":- Codium amphibium is included in Harvey's Phycologia Britannica Pl.xxxv. and noted as: "spreading in patches of great extent along the edge of the sea, over the surface of a turf-bog which meets the shore at Roundstone Bay" (Ireland).


  • Codium cuneatum S. & G. California (USA)
  • Codium duthiae Silva Australia, Tasmania and South Africa.
  • Codium extricatum Silva Cape Agulhas to southern Natal.
  • Codium fragile (Suringar) Hariot, Sui song (Chinese)[4] Japan, American Pacific from Alaska to Cape Horn, Australia and New Zealand, British Isles, Norway, Denmark and Netherlands.
  • Codium fragile (Suringar) Hariot subsp. capense Silva South Africa.
  • Codium fragile Nova Scotia (Canada)
  • Codium hubbsii Daws. California (U.S.A.)
  • Codium johnstonei Silva California (U.S.A.)
  • Codium lucasi Setchell Australia, Tasmania.
  • Codium geppiorum Australia and Indo-PacificSouth Africa.
  • Codium spongiosum Australia.
  • Codium setchellii Gardn. Califirnis (U.S.A.)
  • Codium intertextum Collins & Hervey
  • Codium isthmocladum Vickers
  • Codium tayori Silva
  • Codium repens (Crouan) Vickers


  1. ^ C. van den Hoek; D. G. Mann; M. H. Jahns (1995). Algae: An Introduction to Phycology. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-30419-9. 
  2. ^ E. M. Burrows (1991). Seaweeds of the British Isles. Volume 2. Chlorophyta. London: Natural History Museum. ISBN 0-565-00981-8. 
  3. ^ Morton,O. 1994. Marine Algae of Northern Ireland. Ulster Museum. ISBN 0 900761 28 8
  4. ^ Abbott, Isabella A (1989). Lembi, Carole A.; Waaland, J. Robert, eds. Algae and human affairs. Cambridge University Press, Phycological Society of America. p. 141. ISBN 978-0-521-32115-0.  Food and food products from seaweeds

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