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Electronic Flora of South Australia Species Fact Sheet

Chaetomorpha capillaris (Kützing) Boergesen 1925: 45, fig. 13.

Phylum Chlorophyta – Order Cladophorales – Family Cladophoraceae

Selected citations: Davey & Woelkerling 1980: 57. Feldmann 1937: 208, fig. 17. Valet 1960: 85, fig. 4. Womersley 1956: 356.

Thallus (Fig. 56C) medium green, loose-lying in shade on tidal flats, forming loose, woolly, entangled masses with few if any attachment cells. Filaments unbranched, of similar diameter throughout (Fig. 57E,F). Cells (70–) 85–100 (–105) µm in diameter and L/B 1–2, not collapsing on drying; walls 8–12 µm thick; chloroplasts densely reticulate with numerous pyrenoids.

Reproduction: Reproduction unknown.

Type from Nice, France, in L (937,155... 45).

Selected specimens: Pelican Lagoon, American R. inlet, Kangaroo I., S. Aust., upper eulittoral under samphires ( Womersley, 19.i.1950; ADU, A12783).

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

Distribution: Mediterranean and North Atlantic.

In southern Australia, recorded from Blanche Harbour, N. Spencer Gulf, S. Aust., on Avicennia pneumatophores (Beanland & Woelkerling 1982, p. 94); American R. inlet, Kangaroo I., S. Aust., from under samphires in the mid and upper eulittoral; from Westernport Bay, Vic. (Davey & Woelkerling 1980, p. 57; and from Lake Reeve, Gippsland, Vic. (Ducker, Brown & Calder 1977, p. 35). Probably more widely distributed.

Taxonomic notes: The association of the names Ch. capillaris and Ch. tortuosa was discussed by Womersley (1956, p. 356). The American River inlet specimens agree well with Kützing's type in diameter and general morphology and with the descriptions of Boergesen and Feldmann, but their reproduction has not been studied. Ch. capillaris is sometimes referred to Lola Hamel & Hamel, and Cribb (1965, p. 262) refers it to Rhizoclonium. However, Cribb's material is slenderer with much longer cells and occasional lateral rhizoids; it probably is a Rhizoclonium and not the same as the southern Australian taxon referred to Ch. capillaris.


BEANLAND, W.R. & WOELKERLING, W.J. (1982). Studies on Australian mangrove algae: II. Composition and geographical distribution of communities in Spencer Gulf, South Australia. Proc. R. Soc. Vic. 94, 89–106.

BOERGESEN, F. (1925). Marine algae from the Canary Islands, especially from Teneriffe and Gran Canaria. I. Chlorophyceae. Biol. Meddr 5 (3), 1–123.

CRIBB, A.B. (1965). An ecological and taxonomic account of the algae of a semi-marine cavern, Paradise Cave, Queensland. Pap. Dep. Bot. Univ. Qld 4(16), 259–282.

DAVEY, A. & WOELKERLING, W.J. (1980). Studies on Australian mangrove algae. 1. Victorian communities: Composition and geographic distribution. Proc. R. Soc. Vict. 91, 53–66.

DUCKER, S.C., BROWN, V.B. & CALDER, D.M. (1977). An identification of the aquatic vegetation in the Gippsland Lakes. Environmental Studies series No. 136. (Ministry for Conservation: Melbourne.)

FELDMANN, J. (1937). Les Algues marines de la Cote des Albères. I–III. Cyanophycées, Chlorophycées, Phaeophycees. Rev. Algol. 9, 141–335, Plates 8–17.

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 56C, 57E,F.

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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