Electronic Flora of South Australia Species Fact Sheet

Caulerpa scalpelliformis (R. Brown ex Turner) C. Agardh.

Phylum Chlorophyta – Order Caulerpales – Family Caulerpaceae

Selected citations: Harvey 1858: pl. 17. Lucas 1936: 34, fig. 16. Weber van Bosse 1898: 286, pl. 22 fig. 11, pl. 23 figs 1–4. Womersley 1956: 369.

Stolon slender (0.5–1 mm in diameter) in small forms of young plants, robust [1.5–2.5 (–3) mm in diameter] in large, rough-water plants, cartilaginous, naked, epilithic. Erect fronds (Fig. 86D,E) medium to dark green, simple to occasionally branched, from 4–10 cm high and 3–6 mm broad in slender forms, to 20 cm high and 2 (–3) cm broad in robust plants, terete for the basal 1–3 cm, then strongly compressed with an axis 2–3 mm broad in slender plants to 4–8 (–10) mm broad in robust plants, bearing alternately distichous, closely adjacent ramuli. Ramuli (Fig. 87D,E) 2–4 mm long and 1–2 mm broad in slender plants (Fig. 87E), to 1–1.5 cm long and 3–5 mm broad in robust plants (Fig. 87D), strongly compressed, scalpelliform, basally broadest but often slightly constricted, usually slightly upwardly curved and with an acute angle between adjacent ramuli, tapering gradually over their lower half to three quarters, then abruptly to a distinct spinous tip.

Type from the southern coast of Australia (R. Brown); in BM.

Selected specimens: Whitfords Beach, Perth, W. Aust., 4 m deep (Kirkman, 16.viii.1979; ADU, A50569). Elliston, S. Aust., in deep pools (Woelkerling, 16.v.1968; ADU, A32490-"Marine Algae of southern Australia" No. 10). Entrance to Kellidie Bay, Coffin Bay, S. Aust., low eulittoral ( Womersley, 22.viii.1967; ADU, A31825-"Marine Algae of southern Australia" No. 10a). Mt Dutton Bay, Coffin Bay, S. Aust., 0–1 m deep (Womersley, 1.xii.1975; ADU, A46806-"Marine Algae of southern Australia" No. 10b). Port MacDonnell, S. Aust., upper sublittoral pools (Womersley, 25.i.1967; ADU, A31660). Walkerville, Vic., just below low tide at bluff (Sinkora A1509, 21.ii.1972; ADU, A42275). Bridport, Tas., pools (Wollaston & Mitchell, 4.iii.1964; ADU, A27947).


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 (and Tasmania) to Jervis Bay, N.S.W. Common in rock pools and to 36 m deep on rough-water coasts. Var. denticulata (Decaisne) Weber van Bosse is known from the Red Sea and other tropical regions.

Taxonomic notes: C. scalpelliformis is very variable in robustness and breadth, depending on degree of water movement and depth, but is generally a distinctive species. Some slender specimens (e.g. from Coffin Bay in relatively calm water) however, do approach robust forms of C. remotifolia with dense ramuli. In both these species the ramuli are alternately produced at the apices, in contrast to C. distichophylla where they are opposite.

References:

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.)

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 86D,E 87D,E.

Figure 86 image

Figure 86   enlarge

Fig. 86. A. Caulerpa alternans (ADU, A33416). B. Caulerpa remotifolia (ADU, A28219). C. Caulerpa distichophylla (ADU, A50590). D. Caulerpa scalpelliformis (ADU, A31660). E. Caulerpa scalpelliformis (ADU, A31825). F. Caulerpa ellistoniae (ADU, A 13426).

Figure 87 image

Figure 87   enlarge

Fig. 87. A. Caulerpa alternans (ADU, A33416). B. Caulerpa remotifolia. upper (BI) and mid (B2) parts of erect frond (ADU, A2829). C. Caulerpa distichophylla, upper (CI) and mid (C2) parts of erect frond (ADU, A50590). D. Caulerpa scalpelliformis, upper (DI) and mid (D2) parts of erect frond (ADU. A31660). E. Caulerpa scalpelliformis, upper (EI) and mid (E2) parts of erect frond (ADU, A31825). F. Caulerpa ellistoniae, upper (FI) and mid (F2) parts of erect frond (ADU, A13426).


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