Key to the species of Dictyota

1 Plants dark chocolate brown, fronds tightly to loosely spiralled (twisted) axes up to 3 mm in diam., terminal dichotomous division about 1 mm in diam D. acutiloba
1 Plants medium brown to yellowish, often iridescent when fresh, blades not twisted 2
2 Fronds rarely more than 4 cm long, less than 2 mm at widest, then narrowing abruptly toward apices; on same plant, some portions may be 2 to 3 mm wider than other places D. ceylanica
2 Fronds free of turf up to 5 cm long, shorter if in turf; characteristically nearly same width throughout, with truncate apices; branch dichotomies short 3
3 Fronds golden with bluish iridescence until removed from water, often in turf on sides of tide pools; in surface view some superficial cells having L-shaped lenticular thickenings D. friabilis
3 Fronds yellowish-green, iridescent, occasionally whole plant with 1-2 twirls, but fronds not twisted; no lenticular thickenings; lateral margins with many proliferations of various lengths and sizes D. sandwicensis

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