Chrysymenia wrightii (Harvey) Yamada
Also known as Wright's Golden Membrane Weed.
Description: Soft, gelatinous, compressed, red to brown-red fronds, to 400 mm long, filled with a watery mucilage and with small gland cells borne on inflated basal cells. Main axis simple, not jointed, without nodal diaphragms, not constricted. Very variable in branching pattern, 2-4 times branched (alternate, opposite or irregular) with branches constricted at the base and tapering at the tips; fronds often with many small proliferations. Alien species originally described from Hokkaido, Japan. It was first found in the Étang de Thau in 1978, a "hotspot of introductions." Plants were found on marinas in Falmouth, Cornwall in September 2013 by Francis Bunker.
Habitat: On marinas, rocks in the lower intertidal and in pools; subtidal to 14 m (NW Spain). Currently restricted to SW Britain, NW Spain and Mediterranean France. In its native range it occurs from the Russian Far East and Japan, south to Korea and China.
Similar species: Lomentaria clavellosa, which is more regularly branched and forms tetrasporangia in disctinct sori rather than scattered in the cortical layer.
Photographs © David Fenwick. Falmouth Dock, Cornwall.