Recent molecular studies indicate that the Pyropialanceolata species complex on the west coast of North America is more speciose than previously thought. Based on extensive rbcL gene sequencing of representative specimens we recognize seven species in the complex, three of which are newly described: Pyropiamontereyensis sp. nov., Pyropiacolumbiensis sp. nov., and Pyropiaprotolanceolata sp. nov. The new species are all lanceolate, at least when young, and occur in the upper mid to high intertidal zone primarily in winter and early spring. Pyropiamontereyensis and Pyropiacolumbiensis are sister taxa that are distributed south and north of Cape Mendocino, respectively, and both occur slightly lower on the shore than Pyropialanceolata or Pyropiapseudolanceolata. Pyropiaprotolanceolata is known thus far only from Morro Rock and the Monterey Peninsula, California; it occurs basally to the other species in the complex in the molecular phylogeny. A fourth newly described species, Pyropiabajacaliforniensis sp. nov., is more closely related to Pyropianereocystis than to species in this complex proper. It is a thin species with undulate margins known only from Moss Landing, Monterey Bay, California, and northern Baja California; it also occurs in the high intertidal in spring. Porphyramumfordii, a high intertidal winter species that has frequently been confused with species in the Pyropialanceolata complex, has now been confirmed to occur from Calvert Island, British Columbia, to Pescadero State Park, California.
Keywords: Bangiales; British Columbia; California; Pyropialanceolata species complex; Pyropianereocystis; new species; northeast Pacific; rbcL gene.