Vanvoorstia bennettiana (Harvey) Papenfuss (1956:160)

Bennett's seaweed



Taxonomy & Nomenclature

Synonym/s: Claudea bennettiana Harvey (1859:61); Sonderia bennettiana (Harvey) Müller ex J.Agardh (1890)


Conservation Status

Extinct (Millar, 2003b; del Monte-Luna et al., 2023)

Last record: October 1886 (Sanger, 1999; Millar, 2003b; DPI, 2007; Maas, 2010)

IUCN RedList status: Extinct


This species was apparently only ever collected on two occasions: in 1855 and again in 1886 (Sanger, 1999; DPI, 2007; Maas, 2010). Several subsequent expeditions by algologists to rediscover this species have failed, and it is sadly considered to be the first recently extinct species of algae in the world.



Port Jackson, New South Wales, Australia

Type locality: Paramatta river, near east end of Spectacle Island, Port Jackson [Sydney, New South Wales, Australia] (Guiry, 2014)


Biology & Ecology










Original scientific description:

Harvey, William Henry. (1859). Phycologia Australica; or a History of Australian Seaweeds... and a synopsis of all known Australian Algae. London: L. Reeve. [p. 61]


Other references:

Agardh, J. A. (1890). Till Algernes Systematik, Nya bidrag (Sjette afdelningen). XI. Florideae. Lunds Universitet Arsskrift 26: 125 pp., 3 plates.

Anon. (2007). Species presumed extinct in NSW. Bennets seaweed Vanvoorstia bennettiana. NSW DPI Primefacts No. 186: 1-2.

del Monte-Luna, P., Lluch-Belda, D., Serviere-Zaragoza, E., Carmona, R., Reyes-Bonilla, H., Aurioles-Gamboa, D., Castro-Aguirre, J. L., del Próo, S. A. G., Trujillo-Millán, O. and Brook, B. W. (2007). Marine extinctions revisited. Fish and Fisheries 8(2): 107-122.

del Monte-Luna, Pablo et al. (2023). A review of recent and future marine extinctions. Cambridge Prisms: Extinction 1: e13.

Department of the Environment (2023). Vanvoorstia bennettiana in Species Profile and Threats Database, Department of the Environment, Canberra. Available from: Accessed Sat, 7 Oct 2023 16:26:29 +1100.

Dulvy, Nicholas K., Pinnegar, John K. and Reynolds, John D. (2009). Holocene extinctions in the sea, pp. 129-150. In: Turvey, Samuel T. (ed.). Holocene Extinctions. Oxford, UK & New York, USA: Oxford University Press. xii + 352 pp.

Dulvy, NK, Sadovy, Y and Reynolds, JD (2003) Extinction vulnerability in marine populations. Fish and Fisheries 4(1), 25–64.

M.D. Guiry in Guiry, M.D. & Guiry, G.M. 12 March 2014. AlgaeBase. World-wide electronic publication, National University of Ireland, Galway.; searched on 07 October 2023

Lucas, Arthur Henry Shakespeare. (1913). Notes on Australian marine algae, i. Proceedings of the Linnean Society of New South Wales 38: 49-60, 5 plates.

Maas, Peter H. J. (2010). Bennett's Seaweed - Vanvoorstia bennettiana. In: TSEW (2010). The Sixth Extinction Website. ( Downloaded on December 12, 2010.

Millar, A. J. K. (2003a). Vanvoorstia bennettiana. In: IUCN 2010. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2010.4. ( Downloaded on 12 December 2010.

Millar, A. J. K. (Royal Botanic Gardens Sydney, Australia). (2003b). Vanvoorstia bennettiana. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2003: e.T43993A10838671. Downloaded on 23 June 2021.

Millar, A. J. K. (2003c). The world's first recorded extinction of a seaweed, pp. 313-318. In: A. R. O. Chapman; Robert J. Anderson and Valerie J. Vreeland (eds). Seventeenth International Seaweed Symposium: proceedings of the seventeenth International Seaweed Symposium, Cape Town, South Africa, 28 January—2 February 2001. New York: Oxford University Press.

Millar, A. J. K. and Kraft, G. T. (1993). Catalogue of marine and freshwater algae (Rhodophyta) of New South Wales, including Lord Howe Island, south-western Pacific. Australian Systematic Botany 6(1): 1-90.

New South Wales: Department of Primary Industries. (2007). Primefacts: Bennett's Seaweed-Vanvoorstia bennettiana.

Papenfuss, G. F. (1956). On the nomenclature of some Delesseriaceae. Taxon 5: 158-162.

Sanger, A. (1999). NSW Fisheries Scientific Committee (1999) Recommendation: Vanvoorstia bennettiana - (Bennetts Seaweed). Ref. No. FR7. File No. FSC 99/16.

Woinarski, John C. Z., Braby, M. F., Burbidge, A. A., Coates, D., Garnett, S. T., Fensham, R. J., Legge, S. M., McKenzie, N. L., Silcock, J L. and Murphy, B. P. (2019). Reading the black book: The number, timing, distribution and causes of listed extinctions in Australia. Biological Conservation 239: 108261.

Woodford, J. (1994). Seaweed succumbs to the sludge of modern Sydney. The Sydney Morning Herald. No 48, 974, Saturday August 20, 1994, page 5.

Wynne, M. J. (2014 "2013"). The red algal families Delesseriaceae and Sarcomeniaceae. pp. [1]-326, 118 figs. Königstein: Koeltz Scientific Books.


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