Electronic Flora of South Australia
Electronic Flora of South Australia
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Electronic Flora of South Australia Genus Fact Sheet

Genus CHAETOMORPHA Kützing 1845: 203

Phylum Chlorophyta – Order Cladophorales – Family Cladophoraceae

Thallus of erect tufts or loose-lying filaments; unbranched; erect species mostly with the elongate basal cells producing attaching rhizoids, loose-lying species usually without basal cells. Filaments of erect species usually increasing in diameter upwards, those of loose-lying species of fairly uniform diameter; cell divisions intercalary. Cells with reticulate chloroplasts, with pyrenoids; nuclei numerous per cell; cell wall lamellate, often thick.

Reproduction: Reproduction: generations isomorphic, in most species with the gametophyte producing isogametes and the sporophyte quadriflagellate or biflagellate zoospores. New filaments arise from the basal rhizoids of some erect species and fragmentation occurs in loose-lying species.

Type species: Ch. melagonium (Weber & Mohr) Kützing.

Taxonomic notes: A genus of 20–30 species, widely distributed.


KÜTZING, F.T. (1845). Phycologia Germanica. (Köhne: Nordhausen.)

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


1. Filaments single or usually clumped, each attached by an elongate basal cell; filaments usually increasing in diameter above


1. Filaments loose-lying and usually entangled, usually without any basal cells, of fairly uniform diameter throughout


2. Filaments 1–4 (–5) mm in diameter in mature parts

Ch. coliformis

2. Filaments less than 1 mm in diameter


3. Basal cells less than 1 mm long, filaments usually less than 150 µm in diameter near the basal cell, increasing in diameter upwards to 250–600 µm

Ch. aerea

3. Basal cells usually 2–3 mm long, filaments usually over 400 µm in diameter near their base, increasing only slightly in diameter above

Ch. melagonium

4. Filaments over 200 µm in diameter


4. Filaments 70–120 µm in diameter


5. Cells mostly L/B about 1, rarely greater

Ch. linum

5. Cells mostly L/B 2–4


6. Filaments fairly straight and flaccid, colour light green becoming yellow-green 5

Ch. billardierii

6. Filaments curved or crisped, rigid, dark green

Ch. valida

7. Filaments (65–) 80–100 (–105) µm in diameter, cells L/B 1–2, thick-walled and cells not collapsing on drying

Ch. capillaris

7. Filaments (100–) 105–130 (–150) µm in diameter, cells L/B (1–) 1.5–2.5, walls of medium thickness and often collapsing on drying

Ch. indica

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