Sea lettuce

Sea lettuce
Image: Kristian Peters
Community type

Intertidal reef organisms

Habitat type

Rocky reefs, kelp beds and inter-tidal zone

As its name suggests it looks like lettuce, but its leaves are almost transparent. It is a small green algae growing to 15cm, and is common along the intertidal zone from -0 – 5 metres depth, and in rock pools. It seems to prefer coastal waters enriched by organic wastes, so is abundant near stormwater and wastewater outfalls within the Derwent estuary. It is eaten by chiton, limpet, siphon shell, top shell, seastars and urchins.

Much of the text within the species area of our website was written by Veronica Thorpe, as part of the Derwent River Wildlife Guide (2000).

The DEP has developed a variety of classroom and outdoor activities focused around the key estuary habitats of tidal wetlands, salt marshes and rocky reefs. These include classroom materials, online resources, interpretive walks, games and sensory experiences.