CAULERPA SPECIES IDENTIFICATION KEY

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Red borders around photographs note species banned in the state of California


Photo: Dr. Linda Walters

Caulerpa ashmeadii
Frond: feather-like (up to 20cm tall)
Branchlets: cylindrical with blunt tips (7-18mm long), opposite each other along central axis
Central Axis: cylindrical


Photo: Katherine Grablow

Caulerpa mexicana
Frond: feather-like (2-25cm tall)
Branchlets: opposite each other; flattened, curve upward, pointed tip (2-4mm wide, 2-10mm long)
Central Axis: flat (1-3mm wide)


Photo: Dr. Linda Walters

Caulerpa sertularioides
Frond: feather-like (up to 20cm tall)
Branchlets: opposite each other; needle shaped, pointed at the tip (3-11mm long)
Central Axis: cylindrical (1-1.5mm in diameter)


Photo: Dr. John Huisman

Caulerpa scalpelliformis
Cold water southern Australian species not found in the aquarium trade, but is included in this key because it is banned in the state of California


Photo: Rachel Woodfield

Photo: Dr. Linda Walters

Caulerpa taxifolia
Frond: feather-like, flattened (3-15cm tall)
Branchlets: opposite each other; flat, up curved at tip, base sometimes constricted at central axis (up to 6mm long, 0.6-1mm wide)
Central Axis: slightly compressed to oval (1-1.5mm wide)

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