Abstract(#br)Since the middle of the twentieth century the marine algae have attracted attention as a source of new drugs. Dictyopteris is an important group of marine seaweeds and is widely distributed in tropical, subtropical and temperate regions. This genus is known by its characteristic “ocean smell”. Some species show a distinct phytochemistry, with specific secondary metabolites, including C 11 -hydrocarbons, sulfur compounds and quinone derivatives, not usually found in marine seaweeds and described for the first time in the literature. Furthermore, several terpenes, steroids and halogenated compounds have been described. This chemical diversity gives it interesting biological properties, including cytotoxic, antimicrobial, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and anti-herbivory... activities. These findings highlight the importance to continue investigations on this genus and the need to compile the data available so far, since the species are quite heterogeneous, notably in relation to the chemical constitution. This paper reviews the literature on the Dictyopteris genus, focusing on its secondary metabolites and biological activities, in order to build the base for further studies.