Beautiful Browns

An interactive guide to the large brown seaweeds of New Zealand.

Seaweeds or marine macroalgae occur around the world and are found from the high shore to depths of around 200 m in some places. They are the marine equivalent of land plants and they vary in size from small filament-like species to huge kelps. Large brown algae are common and obvious on most parts of New Zealand’s coastline.

Now you can identify the most commonly encountered species in the field with Beautiful Browns, a fully illustrated interactive pdf with high-quality images of the seaweeds in life. Just click on an image in the species index and you will be taken to a species page packed with information, beautiful images, and icons to simplify identification. New species are added as they are available, so divers, please send us your images to be considered for up and coming versions! 


Beautiful Browns: a guide to the large brown seaweeds of New Zealand. [PDF 7.8MB]

Beautiful Browns: an interactive guide to the large brown seaweeds of New Zealand.


Lessonia variegata J.Agardh. A brown seaweed with long, strap-like blades with widely spaced teeth along its margin found around the North, South and Stewart Islands. [Photo: Roberta D’Archino, NIWA]
Splachnidium rugosum (L.) Grev., also commonly known as Dead man’s fingers and found in the intertidal zone on moderate to exposed coasts right around New Zealand, Stewart Island and in the Chatham Islands. [Photo: Erasmo Macaya, Universidad de Concepción, Chile]
Durvillaea chathamensis C.H.Hay. An endemic Chatham Island brown seaweed that can grow up to 1.5 m long. [Photo: Wendy Nelson, NIWA]