Padina pavonica: Complex in the Mediterranean Sea!

"Complex Padina pavonica": A species complex for several closely related Padina species.
Mediterranean specimen that you would usually ID "Padina pavonica" are actually one of three different species:

Padina pavonica s. str. (s. str.= in a strict sense)
Padina pavonicoides sp. nov. (sp. nov.= newly described species)
Padina ditristromatica sp. nov.

[EDIT: Additionally, Padina boergensenii has been introduced to the SE-Mediterraneis (reported 2015 Israel, info from So we have at least 4 different species to think about when IDing in the Mediterranean Sea.]

Distinction: only possible by genetic or micromorphological analysis.

Distribution: Mediterranean for all three species. Specific range within the Mediterranean Sea unknown, since observations on a macroscopic level cannot be assigned to a species with certainty in many if not all cases. Extramediterranean range well documented for pavonica, but entirely unknown for pavonicoides and ditristromatica.

ID: 71 species are accepted for the Genus Padina. Calling mediterranean observations "Padina sp." is somewhat frustrating, since they can be told apart from the other 68 species (at least in the Mediterranean sea). That's why I propose to ID those observations "Complex Padina pavonica".
If you are no scientist, then go on adressing this iconic alga in your favored common name.
If you are a scientist: maybe take some samples and confirm your pics with microscopic fotos?
Thanks for reading.

Any news on the topic? Especially on macroscopic distinguishing features? Please contact me.

Posted on September 30, 2021 09:37 AM by stefadrian stefadrian