Sea Potato

Sea Potato2, Rats Brain

Leathesia difformis2sea potato

Phylum: Phaeophyta2
Family: Chordariaceae2

This is certainly one of the cutest little seaweeds, with an amusing name to match.  I found this sea potato specimen at Acadia National park in a tide pool at Otter Point.  I have also seen sea potato in Scituate, Massachusetts.  They have a large range and are abundant during the summer months2..  It looks like a golden-brown hollow sac1,2  attached to other seaweed as an epiphyte2, and has also been called rat’s brain1..  This specimen is the size of a medium sized marble. The background in this picture is the palm of my hand – whitened by the 50 °F water temperature at Acadia.

Size: 2-3 cm (0.8-1.2 in) 1 other source 7.5-10 cm (3-4 in) 2

Range: Newfoundland to Long Island Sound and parts of North Carolina2

References:

1. Watling, L., Fegley, J., Moring, J., White, S., Sulzer, A. (2003) Life Between the Tides. Tilbury House Pub

2.  Gosner, Keneth L. (1978), Peterson Field Guides: Atlantic Seashore – A field guide to sponges, jellyfish, sea urchins, and more

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