We examined three species of diminutive Porphyra, Porphyra suborbiculata Kjellman from the North Pacific, Porphyra lilliputiana W. A. Nelson, G. A. Knight et M. W. Hawkes from the South Pacific, and Porphyra carolinensis Coll et J. Cox from the western North Atlantic. These taxa were compared in terms of morphology, habitat data and sequence haplotypes of nuclear small subunit rDNA (SSU) and internal transcribed spacers of the nuclear rDNA cistron (ITS). These three species have similar morphologies and growth habits, and share very similar type descriptions and habitat records. Haplotype variation was found within the 11 samples of P. lilliputiana we examined and within P. suborbiculata samples from two locations, but the single P. carolinensis haplotype (from collections from two separate locations) was identical to one found in several widespread P. lilliputiana samples. Unrooted phylogenetic trees based on sequence data do not support any of the three species as being a monophyletic group. We conclude that these three taxa represent a single species with the oldest name P. suborbiculata having nomenclatural priority. It is likely that P. suborbiculata has recently been introduced to the western Atlantic from the Pacific region.