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Electronic Flora of South Australia Species Fact Sheet

Chaetomorpha aerea (Dillwyn) Kützing 1849: 379.

Phylum Chlorophyta – Order Cladophorales – Family Cladophoraceae

Selected citations: Hamel 1930: 123, fig. 38A–D. Harvey 1847a: pl. 99B. Kornmann 1972: 10, figs 9–13. Kornmann & Sahling 1977: 36, fig. 12A,B. Valet 1960: 81, figs 1–3d. Womersley 1956: 355.

Thallus (Fig. 54B) medium to dark green, erect, epilithic (or epiphytic on Posidonia), with numerous closely associated, unbranched filaments, each attached by an elongate basal cell 100–900 µm long with a lobed base (Fig. 55H) and descending rhizoids. Filaments increasing in diameter upwards (Fig. 55I,J). Cells 100–150 µm in diameter and L/B 1–2 (–3) near the base, usually 200–250 µm in diameter and L/B (0.5–) 1–1.5 (–3) in upper parts and in long and well developed filaments 500–600 (–700) µm in diameter and L/B 0.5–1 (–2); filaments slightly to markedly constricted at cross walls; cell length noticeably dependent on time since cell division; wall 2–4 µm thick; chloroplasts densely reticulate with numerous pyrenoids.

Reproduction: Reproduction: biflagellate and quadriflagellate zooids observed in Australian plants; in Europe, by biflagellate zoospores only (Kornmann 1972, p. 16).

Type from Cromer, England; in BM (ex K).

Selected specimens: Cape Leeuwin, W. Aust., upper sublittoral (Gordon, 16.xi.1968; ADU, A34206). Port Noarlunga, S. Aust., lower eulittoral (Womersley, 13.iii.1982; ADU, A52987). Port MacDonnell, S. Aust., low eulittoral (Womersley, 19.viii.1953; ADU, A19034). Ulverstone, Tas., drift (Gordon, 18.i.1966; ADU, A29983).

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

Distribution: Cosmopolitan.

In Australia, from North Beach, Perth, W. Aust. (and probably further north) around southern Australia and Tasmania to Queensland.

Taxonomic notes: Ch. aerea occurs mainly in the lower eulittoral and upper sublittoral zones or in rock pools, under moderate to strong water movement, and often where sand accumulates around rocks; occasionally it is epiphytic on Posidonia.


HAMEL, G. (1930). Chlorophycées des côtes francaises. (Paris.)

HARVEY, W.H. (1847a). Phycologia Britannica. Plates 73–144. (Reeve: London.)

KÜTZING, F.T. (1849). Species Algarum. (Leipzig.)

KORNMANN, P. & SAHLING, P.-H. (1977). Meeresalgen von Helgoländ. Benthische Grun-Braun-und Rotalgen. Helgoländer wiss. Meeresunters. 29, 1–292.

KORNMANN, P. (1972). Ein Beitrag zur Taxonomie der Gattung Chaetomorpha (Cladophorales, Chlorophyta). Helgoländer wiss. Meeresunters, 23, 1–31.

VALET, G. (1960). Les Chaetomorpha de la région de Montpellier-sète. Nat. Monspeliensia Ser. Bot. 12, 81–88.

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 54B, 55 H–J.

Figure 54 image

Figure 54   enlarge

Fig. 54. A. Chaetomorpha coliformis (ADU, A53158). B. Chaetomorpha aerea (ADU, A52987). C. Chaetomorpha melagonium (ADU, A24699). D. Chaetomorpha linum (ADU, A53201).

Figure 55 image

Figure 55   enlarge

Fig. 55. A–C. Chaetomorpha coliformis (ADU, A52991). A. Base of filament. B. Mid part of filament with recent divisions. C. Upper part of filament, with zooid discharge pores. D–G. Chaetomorpha coliformis (ADU, A53158). D. Base of filament. E. Mid part of filament. F. Upper part of filament. G. Uppermost cells of filament. H–J. Chaetomorpha aerea (ADU, A52987). H. Base of filament. I. Mid part of filament. J. Upper part of filament. K,L. Chaetomorpha melagonium (ADU, A24699). K. Base of filament. L. Upper part of filament.

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