Kappaphycus alvarezii   (Doty) Doty ex P.C. Silva

Elkhorn sea moss

Native range | All suitable habitat | Point map | Year 2100
This map was computer-generated and has not yet been reviewed.
Kappaphycus alvarezii  AquaMaps  Data sources: GBIF OBIS
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Classification / Names Common names | Synonyms | CoL | ITIS | WoRMS

Florideophyceae | Gigartinales | Areschougiaceae

Environment: milieu / climate zone / depth range / distribution range Ecology

Sessile.  Tropical

Distribution Countries | FAO areas | Ecosystems | Occurrences | Introductions

Atlantic Ocean: in the Caribbean (Cuba); Indian Ocean: in Southern Kenya, east to Indonesia; Pacific Ocean: from China to the South China Sea, south to Indonesia, east to Hawaiian Islands including Federated States of Micronesia and Fiji, and south to Tahiti (Ref. 80701); transported to Hawaii, where it was successfully grown, and thence to island groups of the western Pacific, such as, Guam, Micronesia, Christmas Island, Fanning, Tarawa and other atolls of Kiribati, Fiji, Tonga, and French Oceania. It has been transported to Southern China, Indonesia and also to Southern Africa (Ref. 80758).

Length at first maturity / Size / Weight / Age

Maturity: Lm ?  range ? - ? cm

Short description Morphology

Thalli erect, loosely branched, robust, cartilaginous and range from dark greenish brown to deep purple in colour. Main axes cylindrical throughout, 1.5 to 6 mm in diameter when dried. Lateral ultimate branches arranged secundly to alternately on the axes; they are terete, attenuated to acute or spinose tips varying in length from 1 to 17 mm and 1 to 2 mm in diameter near their bases. Cross-section of a branch shows a medulla composed of small thick-walled cells interspersed among large parenchymatous cells at the centre. Cortical cells very small. Thalli up to 30 cm in height (Ref. 80758).

Biology     Glossary (e.g. epibenthic)

Principal raw material in producing kappa-carrageenan and widely used in seaweed farming; used by human as food, blanched in boiling water combined with sliced tomatoes and onions, mixed with a sweet sour dressing made of vinegar, salt and sugar; also used in making jelly-type desserts; a source of minerals (Ca, K, Mg, Na, (Pb, Cd); of high commercial interest internationally as source of carrageenan (Ref. 82232); commercially farmed and forms bulk of the dried "Eucheuma" exported abroad (Ref. 80758). Commercially farmed; first discovered on the reef flats of easternmost Sabah and the southwesternmost part of Sulu Archipelago (Ref. 80758).

Life cycle and mating behavior Maturity | Reproduction | Spawning | Eggs | Fecundity | Larvae

Main reference References | Coordinator | Collaborators

Guiry, M.D. and G.M. Guiry. 2009. (Ref. 80701)

IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 123251)

CITES status (Ref. 108899)

Not Evaluated

CMS (Ref. 116361)

Not Evaluated

Threat to humans

  Harmless (Ref. 80758)

Human uses

Fisheries: commercial; aquaculture: commercial
FAO - Aquaculture: production; | FishSource | Sea Around Us


More information

FAO areas
Food items
Common names
Egg development
Mass conversion

Internet sources

BHL | BOLD Systems | CISTI | DiscoverLife | FAO(; publication : search) | GenBank (genome, nucleotide) | GloBI | Gomexsi | Google Books | Google Scholar | Google | ispecies | PubMed | AlgaeBase | Tree of Life | Wikipedia (Go, Search) | Zoological Record

Estimates of some properties based on models

Preferred temperature (Ref. 115969): 24.7 - 29.3, mean 28.4 (based on 3041 cells).
Price category (Ref. 80766)