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Electronic Flora of South Australia Species Fact Sheet

Caulerpa flexilis var. muelleri (Sonder) Womersley 1956: 367.

Phylum Chlorophyta – Order Caulerpales – Family Caulerpaceae


C. muelleri Sonder. Harvey 1858, pl. 2. Lucas 1936: 46, fig. 28.

Differing from the species in its more robust and strictly distichous second-order laterals (Fig. 90B), with the ramuli more densely arranged on the laterals (so as to overlap without visible spaces between them) and also more robust than in the type variety (about 300 µm in diameter compared to about 200 µm).

Type from Rivoli Bay, S. Aust. (F. Mueller); holotype in MEL, 503815.

Selected specimens: 3 km W. of Whitfords Beach, Perth, W. Aust., 6 m deep (Kirkman, 1 1.xii.1979; ADU, A50855). Elliston, S. Aust., 7 m deep (Shepherd, 21.xi.1970; ADU, A37536). Robe, S. Aust., drift. (Womersley, 10.xii.1973; ADU, A44576-"Marine Algae of southern Australia" No. 143). Port Fairy, Vic., drift (Womersley, 24.i.1967; ADU, A3149S). Rocky Cape, Tas., upper sublittoral pools ( Wollaston & Mitchell, 24.ii.1964; ADU, A27649).

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

Distribution: From Geraldton, W. Aust. to Waratah Bay, Vic., and the north coast of Tasmania.

Taxonomic notes: C. flexilis is a distinctive species with its normally strictly distichously branched second-order laterals, the whole thallus (including the stolon) being densely covered with ramuli. In the type variety occasional non-distichous second-order laterals may occur, and the branching is looser and laxer than in var. muelleri, which is always strictly distichous. Very few plants are intermediate between the above varieties, and no other varieties are worth recognising.


HARVEY, W.H. (1858). Phycologia Australica. Vol. 1, Plates 1–60. (Reeve: London.)

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

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

Illustration in Womersley Part I, 1984: FIG. 90B.

Figure 90 image

Figure 90   enlarge

Fig. 90. A. Caulerpa flexilis (ADU, A46868). B. Caulerpa flexilis var. muelleri (ADU, A44576). C. Caulerpa geminata (ADU, A34106). D. Caulerpa annulata (ADU, Al2226).

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