Vanvoorstia bennettiana (Harvey) Papenfuss (1956)

Bennett's seaweed



Taxonomy & Nomenclature

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


Conservation Status


Last record: October 1886

IUCN RedList status: Extinct


This species was apparently only ever collected on two occasions: in 1855 and again in 1886 (Sanger, 1999; DPI, 2007; Peter Maas, 2010). Several subsequent expeditions by algologists to rediscover this species have failed, and it is sadly considered to be the only extinct species of algae in the world. Although as the other seven entries suggest, others may have also disappeared.



Port Jackson, New South Wales, Australia


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.

Lucas, A. H. S. (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: 1-90.

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.


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