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Welcome to the home page of the RHODALGA Project. It was initiated in order to provide paleontological tools useful to both Scientific Institutions and Industry. An exhaustive catalogue of the fossil coralline red algae is in preparation. This project started in 2001 during the IFAA meeting in Cluj Napoca and the web page was launched on September 22nd, 2003, following the IFAA Granada meeting.

During the Granada meeting, Julio Aguirre and Juan Carlos Braga presented a preliminary list of 631 species of non-geniculate fossil coralline red algae ranging from the Cretaceous to the Pleistocene. These taxa have been included in 23 genera: 8 genera are monospecific but 4 genera include 87% of the total species with the genus Lithothamnion (as "Lithothamnium") including 200 species, Lithophyllum 171, Sporolithon (as "Archaeolithothamnium") 99, and Mesophyllum 79.

"This underlines the urgent need to revise type collections and reassess the fossil types employing new taxonomic perspectives" (Aguirre & Braga, 2003).

Therefore, the project aims to provide complete coverage of the following:

  • all of the parameters required for the scientific determination of each species (systematics, synonymy, stratigraphic range, paleogeographic distribution, etc.) will be provided;
  • internationally recognized specialists will be consulted for each of the critical areas (systematics, etc.). One or several contributors will be in charge of one or more taxa and will be mentioned as author(s) of their revision(s);
  • a new key to the determination of fossil coralline red algae will become available.

Following a recommendation made by W.J. Woelkerling, the classification scheme adopted would basically be the one recently published by Harvey et alii (2003):

Family Subfamily Genus
Corallinaceae Corallinoideae Alatocladia, Arthrocardia, Bossiella, Calliarthron, Cheilosporum, Chiharaea, Corallina, Haliptilon, Jania, Marginosporum, Masakia, Serraticardia, Yamadaea
Metagoniolithoideae Metagoniolithon
Mastophoroideae Hydrolithon, Lesueuria, Lithoporella, Mastophora, Metamastophora, Neogoniolithon, Pneophyllum, Spongites
Lithophylloideae Amphiroa, Ezo, Lithophyllum/Titanoderma, Lithothrix, Paulsilvella, Tenarea
Hapalidiaceae Austrolithoideae Austrolithon, Boreolithon
Choreonematoideae Choreonema
Melobesioideae Clathromorphum, Exilicrusta, Kvaleya, Lithothamnion, Mastophoropsis, Melobesia, Mesophyllum, Phymatolithon, Synarthrophyton
Sporolithaceae Heydrichia, Sporolithon

Harvey A.S., Broadwater S.T., Woelkerling W.J. & Mitrovski P.J. (2003).- Choreonema (Corallinales, Rhodophyta): 18S rDNA phylogeny and resurrection of the Hapalidiaceae for the subfamilies Choreonematoideae, Austrolithoideae, and Melobesioideae.- Journal of Phycology, vol. 39, n° 5, p. 988–998.

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