Coralline algae – (BENTHIC-algae) See facts

Name of animal-plant: Coralline algae

Species name:

Animal type: BENTHIC

Subcategory: algae

Coralline algae are red algae in the order Corallinales. They are characterized by a thallus that is hard because of calcareous deposits contained within the cell walls. The colors of these algae are most typically pink, or some other shade of red, but other species can be purple, yellow, blue, white or gray-green. Coralline algae play an important role in the ecology of coral reefs. Sea urchins, parrot fish, limpets (mollusks), and chitons (mollusks), feed on coralline algae. In the temperate Mediterranean sea, coralline algae are the main builders of a typical algal reef, the Coralligène (“coralligenous”). Many are typically encrusting and rock-like, found in marine waters all over the world. Only one species lives in freshwater. Unattached specimens (maerl, rhodoliths) may form relatively smooth compact balls to warty or fruticose thalli.A close look at almost any intertidal rocky shore or coral reef will reveal an abundance of pink to pinkish-grey patches, splashed as though by a mad painter over rock surfaces.

These patches of pink “paint” are actually living algae: crustose coralline red algae. The red algae belong to the division Rhodophyta, within which the coralline algae form the order Corallinales. There are over 1600 described species of nongeniculate coralline algae. The corallines are presently grouped into two families on the basis of their reproductive structures.


All animals and plants are given a species name based on a technical term in biological taxnomy. The species name consists of two words and is based on Latin.


The first part of the name identifies the genus to which the species belongs and  the second part identifies the species within the genus. In this animals case it is: