Caloglossa cf. beccarii is a red alga of striking appearance. It was first observed in European aquaria in the 1990s. It is of a brown, dark purple or greyish green colour and consists of ramfied thalli that are divided into leaf-like lanceolate fronds and narrower intermediate parts where the rhizoids are located and also where the plant branches. This alga often forms moss-like tufts or tangled clumps, and it tends to attach itself to tank decoration, plants or mosses with the help of its rhizoids.
Prof. Dr. Maike Lorenz (University of Goettingen) identified this aquarium alga as member of the genus Caloglossa in 2004. It seems to be most closely related to the species Caloglossa beccarii, however, some of its characteristics do not fit the description in the key to freshwater algae by Kumano (2002) ab.
Caloglossa species are mainly found in the warmer regions of Earth, in the sea, brackish waters and freshwater streams, e.g. in river mouths where they grow epiphytic on mangrove roots. Their closest relative within the Delesseriaceae family are marine red algae.
From time to time, Caloglossa cf. beccarii is deliberately cultivated as aquarium plant, but, however interesting this red alga may be, it can get very annoying, especially if it grows in tufts of moss or between slow-growing ephiphytes. Removal is difficult as rhizoids and parts of the thalli tend to remain in place, from which the alga will regrow. Due to its low light requirements it grows exceptionally well in dark corners and dense plant groups, too. Often it can only be removed from the tank by means of a totally new set-up.
- To be continued -
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[widget=aquaticplants/caloglossa-cf-beccarii]Caloglossa cf. beccarii[/widget]