Electronic Flora of South Australia Species Fact Sheet

Chaetomorpha billardierii Kützing 1847: 166; 1849; 379; 1853: 19, pl. 39 fig. 3.

Phylum Chlorophyta – Order Cladophorales – Family Cladophoraceae

Selected citations: Womersley 1956: 355.

Thallus (Fig. 56A) light green, becoming yellow-green, loose-lying in extensive entangled masses (up to several metres across) of fairly straight filaments, in sheltered lower eulittoral to upper sublittoral habitats. Filaments without attachment cells, of similar diameter throughout (Fig. 57B,C). Cells (200–) 220–350 (–450) µm in diameter and L/B (1–) 1.5–3 (–4), not or only very slightly incised at the cross walls; wall 3–8 (–20) µm thick, in some species thickened especially at the cross walls; chloroplasts openly reticulate with numerous pyrenoids; nuclei numerous.

Reproduction: Reproduction unknown.

Type from "Novae Hollandiae" (King Georges Sound, W. Aust. or southern Tasmania-probably the latter); in L (937, 158...402).

Selected specimens: Esperance, W. Aust., drift (Firman, Dec. 1951; ADU, A18936). Venus Bay, S. Aust., upper sublittoral (Womersley, 17.i.1951; ADU, A13745). Head of American R. inlet, Kangaroo I., S. Aust., lower eulittoral (Womersley, 24.i.1948; ADU, A6766). Pelican Lagoon, American R. inlet, Kangaroo I., S. Aust., lower eulittoral (Womersley, 28.viii.1948; ADU, A8639). Great Taylor Bay, Bruny I., Tas., 1–2 m deep (Shepherd, 14.ii.1972; ADU, A42134).

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

Distribution: From Esperance, W. Aust. to the north coast of Kangaroo I., S. Aust. and around Tas., in calm-water situations. Probably this species is fairly generally distributed in suitable localities along southern Australia.

Taxonomic notes: Ch. billardierii shows some variation in filament diameter in different collections (e.g. Fig. 57B,C) but is separated from Ch. linum by its distinctly longer cells and from Ch. valida by its fairly straight, flaccid and light green to yellow filaments. The comment (Womersley, 1956, p. 356) that the filaments show occasional branches was apparently based on a contaminant.


KÜTZING, F.T. (1847). Diagnosen and Bemerkungen zu neuen oder kritischen algen. Bot. Ztg 5, 1–5, 22–25, 33–38, 52–55, 164–167, 177–180, 193–198, 219–223.

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

KÜTZING, F.T. (1853). Tabulae Phycologicae. Vol. 3. (Nordhausen.)

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 56A, 57B,C.

Figure 56 image

Figure 56   enlarge

Fig. 56. A. Chaetomorpha billardierii (ADU, A8639). B. Chaetomorpha valida (ADU, A5668). C. Chaetomorpha capillaris (ADU, Al2783). D. Chaetomorpha indica (ADU, A13756).

Figure 57 image

Figure 57   enlarge

Fig. 57. Parts of filaments of A. Chaetomorpha linum (ADU, A52981). B,C. Chaetomorpha B. (ADU, A13745). C. (ADU, A6766). D. Chaetomorpha valida (ADU, A5668). E,F. Chaetomorpha capillaris (ADU, A 12783). G. Chaetomorpha indica (ADU, A 13756).

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