Sealoch egg-wrack Ascophyllum nodosum ecad mackaii

Status
Best Time to See
Colour
Habitat Coastal

A distinctive golden seaweed.

Sealoch egg wrack is unusual in that it doesn't attach itself to rocks like other seaweeds. Instead it is happy to roll along the sea bed, much like a tumbleweed. For the same reason its fronds have no air bladders (or 'eggs' as they are known) to hold itself above the waves, such as those possessed by the ordinary egg-wrack.

It is also known as 'wig wrack' - no doubt, in part, from its toupee-like appearance!

Distribution

This seaweed is found making golden carpets at low this tide in some sealochs in North-west Scotland and similar places on the Irish coast.

Habitat

Sealochs or similar coastal habitats.

Key threats

A small patch at Kyle of Lochalsh was inadvertently destroyed by work on the Skye Bridge. Other threats are road improvements, fish farming and the associated built structures on the shores, and over harvesting for sale for the extraction of alginates for the food and cosmetics industries.