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Codium fragile ssp. Fragile
Image courtesy of Flyingdream and Wikimedia commons.
Codium fragile ssp. Fragile
Taxonomic Group: Algae


Codium fragile is a conspicuous green alga with thick, spongy, and finger-like fronds, giving rise to its common name ‘Dead Man’s Fingers’. It is native to Asia and has been introduced around the globe, including North America, South America, Greenland, Europe, Africa, Australia and New Zealand. It grows attached to hard substrates in a wide range of habitats, including rocky and cobble shores, seagrass beds, oyster reefs, breakwaters, seawalls, docks, and piers. It is widely regarded as an invasive species with negative impacts ranging from interference with fishing gear and aquaculture, growing into seagrass beds, and overgrowing bivalve mollusks. However, in some cases, it can have positive impacts by supporting edible epiphytic algae and being a host habitat for saccoglossan seaslugs.

* Content for this species is based on the literature and peer review is pending - if you have comments or feedback please contact Paul Fofonoff at

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Fofonoff PW, Ruiz GM, Steves B, Simkanin C, & Carlton JT (2018)
National Exotic Marine and Estuarine Species Information System.
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Marine Invasions Lab
Smithsonian Environmental Research Center

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Fax: 443 482 2380

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