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Electronic Flora of South Australia Species Fact Sheet

Bryopsis vestita J. Agardh 1887: 30.

Phylum Chlorophyta – Order Derbesiales – Family Bryopsidaceae

Selected citations: Chapman 1956: 475. MacRaild 1974: 156.

Thallus (Fig. 95C) epilithic or epiphytic, 5–15 (–25) cm high, becoming densely tufted with numerous prominent axes arising from an extensively branched rhizoidal system, epilithic. Axes bearing laterals irregularly radially (Fig. 96A,B) with similarly arranged ramuli clustered near ends of laterals which become denuded below (Fig. 96A); laterals are of limited growth, giving a branch outline 0.5–1 (–1.5) cm broad, with axes usually denuded below; lower laterals often with descending rhizoidal outgrowths on parent axes. Axes 0.5–1 mm in diameter, laterals 0.5–1 cm long, and 120–170 µm in diameter, straight to curved, and ramuli 0.5–2 (–3) mm long and 70–130 (–180) µm in diameter; scars usually inconspicuous, sometimes prominent on laterals; chloroplasts discoid, 4–8 µm long.

Reproduction: Reproduction (MacRaild 1974): thalli dioecious, anisogamous; sporophyte protonemal and uninucleate, producing stephanokontic zoospores.

Lectotype from Warrington, Otago, New Zealand; in Herb. Agardh, LD, 15373.

Selected specimens: Cape Northumberland, S. Aust., low eulittoral (Womersley, 2.ix.1971; ADU, A39538). Warrnambool, Vic., edge of low pools (Pope & Bennett, 16.viii.1949; ADU, A12120). Point Lonsdale, Vic., low eulittoral (Ducker & MacRaild, 16.x.1960; ADU, A37738, MELU 20601). Maatsuyker I., Tas., lower eulittoral (Bennett, 26.vi.1954; ADU, A19799). Sandy Cape, Tas., lower eulittoral (Bennett 18, 15.i.1954; ADU, A19725).

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

Distribution: New Zealand, Chatham Is.

In southern Australia, from Cape Northumberland, S.Aust. to Wilsons Promontory, Vic. and around Tasmania. Epilithic under moderate to rough wave action.

Taxonomic notes: B. vestita in New Zealand, and plants within the above range in southern Australia, are entirely radially branched (and in this way distinct from B. gemellipara). B. vestita is the common species of Brvopsis on open coasts of Tasmania. Plants from Western Australia included by MacRaild (1974) under B. vestita are bilaterally branched and better placed as a form of B. foliosa (see above).

Ducker (1979, p. 33; 1980, p. 144) has suggested that B. rosae C. Agardh (1823, p. 450) from the Falkland Islands, is an earlier name for B. vestita, but detailed comparisons of liquid-preserved material are needed to establish this.


AGARDH, C.A. (1823). Species Algarum, Vol. 1. (Lund.)

AGARDH, J.G. (1887). Till algernes systematik. VIII. Siphoneac. Acta Univ. hind. 23, 1–180. Plates 1–5.

CHAPMAN, V.J. (1956). The marine algae of New Zealand. Part I. Myxophyceae and Chlorophyceae. J. Linn. Soc. Bot. 55 (360), 333–501, Plates 24–50.

DUCKER, S.C. (1979). History of Australian Phycology: The Significance of early French exploration. Brunonia 2, 19–42.

DUCKER, S.C. (1980). History of Australian phycology: The Significance of early French exploration. Corrigendum. Brunonia 3, 144.

MacRAILD, G.N. (1974). The taxonomy, life history and cytology of Bryopsis and related genera from southern Australia. (Ph.D. thesis, Univ. Melbourne.)

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 95C, 96A,B.

Figure 95 image

Figure 95   enlarge

Fig. 95. A. Bryopsis foliosa (ADU, A50704). B. Bryopsis foliosa (ADU, A50703). C. Bryopsis vestita (ADU. A37734).

Figure 96 image

Figure 96   enlarge

Fig. 96. A,B. Bryopsis vestita (ADU, A39538). A. Axis with laterals and ramuli. B. Lateral with irregularly arranged ramuli. C. Bryopsis plumosa, part of axis with distichous ramuli (ADU, A43931). D,E. Bryopsis australis. D. Axis with bilateral ramuli in displaced rows (ADU, A34391). E. Axis with unilateral ramuli (ADU, A50705).

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