Electronic Flora of South Australia Species Fact Sheet

Caulerpa brownii (C. Agardh) Endlicher.

Phylum Chlorophyta – Order Caulerpales – Family Caulerpaceae

Selected citations: Lucas 1936: 42, figs 23, 24. Weber van Bosse 1898: 306, pl. 25, fig. 3. Womersley 1956: 365.

Stolon usually robust, (1–) 1.5–3 mm in diameter, moderately densely covered with simple ramuli (0.5–) 1–2.5 mm long and (150–) 300–400 (–500) µm in diameter, tapering abruptly to a spinous tip, epilithic or on jetty piles. Erect fronds (Fig. 88D,E) medium to dark green, with simple or several times irregularly branched axes, usually 3–40 cm high and 3–6 (–8) mm across; axes terete, 0.5–1.5 mm in diameter, densely covered throughout with irregularly placed ramuli. Ramuli (Fig. 89D) simple on basal part of axes and 1.5–3 (–4) mm long, becoming basally furcate and often bifurcate over most of the axes, 3–4 mm long and (100–) 250–350 µm in diameter, terete, upwardly curved, tapering close to their apices to a spinous tip.

Type from Kent I., Bass Strait (R. Brown); in Herb. Agardh, LD, 16647.

Selected specimens: Cowaramup Bay, W. Aust., 2–3 m deep (Clarke & Engler, 1.ix.1979; ADU, A50653). Point Avoid, Eyre Pen., S. Aust., drift ( Womersley, 2.xii.1975; ADU, A46864). Pondalowie Bay, Yorke Pen., S. Aust., reef pool ( Womersley, 14.iv.1963; ADU, A26535). Emu Bay, Kangaroo I., S. Aust., upper sublittoral on jetty piles (Womersley, 10.i.1956; ADU, A20146). Penguin I., Beachport, S. Aust., 1–3 m deep (Lewis, 11.vi.1973; ADU, A43585). Walkerville Vic., in reef pools (Sinkora A1514, 21.ii.1972; ADU, A42265). Fluted Cape, Bruny I., Tas., 16 m deep (Shepherd, 10.ii.1972; ADU, A41475).

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

Distribution: From Whitfords Beach, Perth, W. Aust. around southern Australia to Walkerville, Vic. and around Tasmania. New Zealand, Chatham I., Snares I., Lord Howe I. Common on rocks at and just below low tide level, often forming a monospecific community, and recorded to 42 m deep.

Taxonomic notes: C. brownii is variable in robustness but readily recognised by its form and the basally furcate or bifurcate ramuli; specimens are more robust under the strongest water movement.


LUCAS, A.H.S. (1936). The Seaweeds of South Australia. Pt. I. Introduction and the Green and Brown Seaweeds. (Govt Printer: Adelaide.)

WEBER van BOSSE, A. (1898). Monographie des Caulerpes. Ann. Jardin Bot. Buitenzorg 15, 243–401, Plates 20–34.

WOMERSLEY, H.B.S. (1956). A critical survey of the marine algae of southern Australia. I. Chlorophyta. Aust. J. mar. freshw. Res. 7, 343–383.

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 88D,E, 89D.

Figure 88 image

Figure 88   enlarge

Fig. 88. A. Caulerpa longifolia (ADU, A39569). B. Caulerpa longifolia f. crispata (ADU, A34035). C. Caulerpa trifaria (ADU, A33516). D. Caulerpa brownii(ADU, A26535). E. Caulerpa brownii (ADU, A46864). F. Caulerpa cliftonii(ADU, A34037). G. Caulerpa obscura (ADU, A38574). H. Caulerpa hedleyi (ADU, A38175).

Figure 89 image

Figure 89   enlarge

Fig. 89. A. Caulerpa longifolia, ramuli (ADU, A39569). B. Caulerpa longifolia f. crispata, ramuli (ADU, A34035). C. Caulerpa trifaria, ramuli (ADU, A33516). D. Caulerpa brownii, ramuli (ADU, A26535). E. Caulerpa cliftonii, branched ramulus (ADU, A34037). F. Caulerpa obscura, secondary lateral with ramuli (FI) and apex of ramulus (F2) (ADU, A38574). G. Caulerpa flexilis, ramuli (ADU, A46868). H. Caulerpa hedleyi, ramuli on axis (HI) and single ramulus (H2) (ADU, A38175).

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