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Y-branched algae
Dictyota spp.

Description:
This genus contains several species which are difficult to identify. All have branches that fork near their ends. The tips may be rounded or pointed. Generally they form mats of dense to loose packed flat leaves that overgrow the substrate. Light to medium brown and/or green to blue-green, occasionally with bright blue tints.

Habitat:
Grow in most reef environments; on rocky substrates, often covering boulders, around the base of coral heads and on vertical wall faces. Most common in protected areas.

Distribution:
South Florida, Bahamas and Caribbean.

Remarks:
In Curacao, Dictyota ciliolata , D. dentata and D. dichotoma are most common.

Dictyota ciliolata (Dictyota ciliolata) forms bushy clumps of strap-like blades (10-15 cm) that have distinctive points along their edges. Irregularly branched dichotomously. Light yellow-brown to brown, with light, wavy pattern. May have greenish tints.

Dictyota dentata (Dictyota dentata) forms bushy erect thalli (10-20 cm), with a central axis and alternately spaced branches. The branches are more or less in one plane and the branches and branchlets are strap like. Most of the tips of the branchlets end in spur like projections.

Dictyota dichotoma (D. dichotoma ) is about 3.5-10 cm long. The strap like branches always branch dichotomously. The blades are 2-5 mm broad and from 10-25 mm between branching.

Y-branched algae (Dictyota spp.)