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Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Chlorophyta
Class: Bryopsidophyceae
Order: Bryopsidales
Family: Caulerpaceae
Genus: Caulerpa
Species: C. brachypus - C. peltata - C. racemosa - C. taxifolia


Popular macro algae for use in a marine aquarium. Used as a food source of tangs and a method of exporting nutrients by regular harvesting when grown in a refugium.

In some places around the world it is illegal to possess and sell C. taxifolia. Within Australia it has been declared a noxious weed / pest in the following states, and therefore should not be maintained in a marine aquarium; Victoria, South Australia and New South Wales. Currently there is no importation limitations on it into Tasmania, but it would be irresponsible for anyone to do so. Since it occurs in the wild naturally in Queensland, Northern Territory and more than likely northern Western Australia, no controls are in place to stop its possession and trade.[1]


Thallus composed of horizontal stolon anchored by colorless rhizoids, bearing erect photosynthetic fronds (assimilators) of extremely diverse morphology including thread-like, blade-like, pinnate, spongy and vesicular structures. When wounded, as by grazing fish, blade or rhizome exude a yellowish sticky mass which hardens to a wound plug of carbohydrate in a few minutes. Some species of Caulerpa produce the poison caulerpicin, making their use as a food resource hazardous. [2]


The Caulerpa genus consists of one hundred and ninety current species[2]. Some of the common ones encountered are:




  1. ( Warren, D.B., Caulerpa taxifolia - the "Killer Algae", OZ REEF, 2004. Retrieved: 14 April 2010.
  2. 2.0 2.1 ( Guiry, M.D., Guiry, G.M, Algae Base, National University of Ireland, Galway, 2007, Retrieved: 26 September 2007.