Batrachospermum - A freshwater Red Alga that is classified as Rhodophyta. This alga grows on the rocks at the UT Arboretum in Oak Ridge. It seems to prefer cold, running water. Often I am unable to find it in the late summer. Algae are often slimy due to a slime covering on the cells. This is why it is so hard to walk down a boat ramp or on rocks in a stream! Some algae can impart an unpleasant smell and taste to water, others can poison ponds and lakes due to toxins they produce and release into the water. This stuff is so slimy I usually take a long pair of forceps (tweezers) to remove it from the rocks. Why would I want to collect it, you may wonder? It is very lovely to look at under a microscope! I use it in my microbiology classes. The kids are often suprised to see how pretty simple "pond scum" can be! See the following picture of it through a microscope.