Electronic Flora of South Australia Species Fact Sheet

Acetabularia calyculus Quoy & Gaimard.

Phylum Chlorophyta – Order Dasycladales – Family Polyphysaceae

Selected citations: Valet 1969: 617, pl. 44 figs 7–9. Womersley 1971a: 119, fig. 15.

Thallus (Fig. 101B) single or in small clusters, 3–5 (–7) cm high, axes whitish from calcification, bearing several whorls of branched, colourless hairs (pale green when young) on their upper half, di- to penta-chotomous with 5–7 orders of branching, and one (rarely two) summit whorls of 22–34 gametangial rays united laterally to form a concave disc or cup (Fig. 101B). Disc 3–6 (–7) mm across, rays 1.5–2.5 mm long and (400–) 450–600 µm broad at their outer end, terminally truncate to slightly bilobed (Fig. 101B); chloroplasts rounded, 2–3 µm in diameter. Superior corona (Fig. 102B,C) lobed and bearing 2–3 branched hairs or scars; inferior corona with a single lobe (Fig. 102B,D).

Reproduction: Cysts numerous, subspherical, 80–120 µm in diameter, liberating gametes. Type from Shark Bay, W. Aust. (Quoy & Gaimard); not located in PC.

Distribution map based
on current data relating to
specimens held in the
State Herbarium of SA

Distribution: Widely distributed in tropical and subtropical seas and extending into warm temperate regions. Tropical Australia, extending south to Fremantle, W. Aust., and to Newcastle, N.S.W.

Taxonomic notes: In southern Australia, known from Kellidie Bay, Coffin Bay, S. Aust., 3–4 m deep (Taylor, 5.xii.1975; ADU, A46702). Tapley Shoal, off Edithburgh, S. Aust., 13–15 m deep (Shepherd, 5.ii.1969; ADU, A33400-"Marine Algae of southern Australia" No. 27). Glenelg, S. Aust., 20m deep, 5 km offshore (Shepherd, 15.ii.1969; ADU, A33450). West Beach, S. Aust., 10 m deep (Shepherd, 30.xii.1980; ADU, A52040).

This species appears to occur mostly in deep water, on dead cockle shells in sand areas, in isolated localities of the Gulf region of South Australia.


VALET, G. (1969). Contribution a l'étude des Dayscladales 2. Cytologie et reproduction. 3. Révision systématique. Nova Hedwigia 17, 551–644, Plates 133–162.

WOMERSLEY, H.B.S. (1971a). New records and taxa of marine Chlorophyta in southern Australia. Trans. R. Soc. S. Aust. 95, 113–120.

The Marine Benthic Flora of Southern Australia Part I complete list of references.

Author: H.B.S. Womersley

Publication: Womersley, H.B.S. (31 May, 1984)
The Marine Benthic Flora of Southern Australia
Part I
©Board of the Botanic Gardens and State Herbarium, Government of South Australia

Illustrations in Womersley Part I, 1984: FIGS 101B, 102 B–D.

Figure 101 image

Figure 101   enlarge

Fig. 101. A. Dasycladus densus (ADU, A19437 type). B. Acetabularia calyculus, living (ADU, A33400 collection). C–E. Polyphysa peniculus. C. Habit (ADU, A46701). D. Cap of young gametangial rays. E. Mature gametangial rays with cysts (D,E from culture).

Figure 102 image

Figure 102   enlarge

Fig. 102. A. Dasycladus densus (ADU, A19437), cross section of thallus; all walls between segments arc perforate. B–D. Acetabularia calyculus (ADU, A33400). B. Sectional view of gametangial ray with superior corona (bearing 2 hairs) and inferior corona. (After Womersley 1971, Fig. 15.) C. Superior corona with hairs, from above. D. Inferior corona, from below. E–G. Polyphysa peniculus (ADU, A54173). E. Sectional view of base of gametangial ray with superior corona (bearing 2 hairs) and slight bulge of inferior corona. F. Superior corona with two hairs, from above. G. Base of gametangial ray, from below. H–K. Lamprothamnium papulosum (ADU, A54177, from culture). H. Habit of thallus. I. Nodal branching with opposite stipulodes and bracts on two lateral branches. J. Starch bulbils on rhizoids, from muddy substrate. K. Part of fertile spike with antheridia on first node of branchlets and oogonia (two only shown) at base of whorl.

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