Range/Geographical Distribution: Worldwide.
Habitat: Attached to hard surfaces along shores in brackish water and estuaries, also may be found as a free-floating mass in sheltered waters.
Description: A bright green algae with broad, crumpled, translucent fronds. Resembles terrestrial lettuce, hence its name.
Size: Clumps may reach a foot in diameter.
Breeding: Adult plants produce zoospores that settle and form haploid male and female plants similar to the adults. These haploid males and females release gametes. The gametes combine and produce a zygote which grows into an adult plant.
Predators/Ecological Importance: Sea lettuce may be eaten by humans, manatees, some fish, and many invertebrates.
Conservation Status: Listed as not threatened.
Interesting Facts: The fronds of sea lettuce are only two cell layers thick.
On the Coast: Sea lettuce can be found attached to rocks and docks along the Georgia coast as well as washed up along the beach.