Can you help find Kelp galls?

Callum Blake, an Honours student at ANU has asked the Atlas to help in his research. He is seeking sightings and samples of the gall-forming parasite of the kelp seaweed Durvillaea, Maullinia.

Durvillea Potatorum is our local Bull Kelp and the northernmost limit of its range is along our coast, somewhere between Bermagui and Tathra, but moving south every year.

We would really like to find out where its northernmost growth is just now and track its changes over time. Can you help us?

Callum is hoping we have divers and snorkelers who may be able to find further samples of the galls for his research.

If you are diving and see something that looks like this, please take a photo and your location and send it to: libby@atlasoflife.org.au or call 026495 0917

There are no real ‘set’ methods for identifying this parasite, unfortunately, but Callum has attached a file with an image of the galls in an effort to help you understand roughly what to look for. The best description he has found so far is ‘yellowish, protruded, wart-like growths, irregular in form and size. Tending to be circular or elliptic with a diameter between 0.5-4cm’.

Galls on Durvillea kelp

Galls on Durvillea kelp

Gall on DurvilleaGall on Durvillea (1)

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