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Electronic Flora of South Australia Species Fact Sheet

Anadyomene stellata (Wulfen) C. Agardh.

Phylum Chlorophyta – Order Cladophorales – Family Anadyomenaceae

Bold & Wynne 1978: 215, fig. 3.151.

Thallus (Fig. 73A) dark green, growing in mats or tufts, flabellate, ovate to reniform, 2–10 mm high and across, with 1–4 basal stipe cells attached by a cluster of slender rhizoids with occasional cross walls. Blade monostromatic, with a primary system of elongate-clavate cells bearing at their apices 3–6 similar but progressively smaller cells, with the interstices largely to entirely filled with smaller cells (Fig 73A) cut off laterally from the primary cells and joined to adjacent cells with a smooth attachment. Chloroplast closely reticulate, becoming fragmented, with rounded areas of variable size (the larger containing pyrenoids) joined by narrow connections.

Reproduction: Reproduction with isomorphic generations, the gametophytes dioecious, anisogamous and the sporophyte producing quadriflagellate zoospores (Mayhoub 1975), or reproducing by zoospores only (Jonsson 1962).

Type from the Adriatic sea, Mediterranean.

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

Distribution: Widely distributed in the Mediterranean and tropical and sub-tropical coasts of the Americas and the Indo-Pacific. Commonly found as a short mat in shaded intertidal areas, with larger plants subtidally.

In southern Australia, A. stellata is known only from Cape Lannes (near Robe) in South Australia where it occurs on near-vertical rock, completely shaded, left emergent at low tide above a pool at the rear of the rock platform (Skinner & Lyons, 25.ii.1977; ADU, A47973 and Womersley. 13.ii.1978; ADU, A49506). The short mat of Anadyomene is a metre or so across and includes sand; on some occasions the mat (and the pool) are completely covered with sand. Wave action on the mat at mid to high tide would be considerable. This habitat is very similar to that reported for the species in the Mediterranean and the American tropics. The Cape Lannes plants are dwarf and not well developed, but have been grown in culture up to 1 cm high, and then compare very well in form with larger specimens from the Mediterranean and tropical America, where the height range is given as 2.5–10 cm.

This isolated, temperate Southern Hemisphere occurrence of A. stellata is of interest in that it is on a rough-water coastline not adjacent to a harbour and not where an introduction might be expected.

Taxonomic notes: Mayhoub 1975: 587, figs 1–4.

Taylor 1960: 125, pl. 7 fig. 2, pl. 8 fig. 2.

Womersley 1981c:303.


BOERGESEN, F. (1913). The marine algae of the Danish West Indies. Vol. I. Part I. Chlorophyceae. Dansk. bot. Ark. 1(4), 1–160, map.

BOLD, H.C. & WYNNE, M.J. (1978). Introduction to the Algae: Structure and reproduction. (Prentice-Hall: New Jersey.)

JONSSON, S. (1962). Sur la reproduction de l'Anadyomene stellata (Wulf) Ag. de la Méditerranee. C.R. Acad. Sci. Paris. 255, 1983–1985.

MAYHOUB, H. (1975). Reproduction sexuée et cycle du développement de l'Anadyomene stellata (Wulf.) Ag. de la Mediterranée orientale. C.R. Acad. Sc. Paris 280, 587–590.

TAYLOR, W.R. (1960). Marine algae of the eastern tropical and sub-tropical coasts of the Americas. (Univ. Mich. Press: Ann Arbor.)

WOMERSLEY, H.B.S. (1981c). Aspects of the distribution and biology of Australian marine macro-algae. In Pate, J.S. & McComb, A.J. (Eds), The Biology of Australian Plants, Ch. 10, pp. 294–306. (Univ. W. Aust. Press: Nedlands.)

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

Illustration in Womersley Part I, 1984: FIG. 73A.

Figure 73 image

Figure 73   enlarge

Fig. 73. A. Anadyomene stellata. Frond from culture (ADU, A49506). B,C. Struvea plumosa. B. A well developed plant (ADU, A51959). C. Details of margin of net (ADU, A50877).

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