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Electronic Flora of South Australia Species Fact Sheet

Chaetomorpha valida (Hooker & Harvey) Kützing 1849: 379.

Phylum Chlorophyta – Order Cladophorales – Family Cladophoraceae

Selected citations: Womersley 1956: 357.


Conferva valida Hooker & Harvey 1847: 416. Harvey 1855b: 263.

Thallus (Fig. 56B) dark green, loose-lying and forming entangled masses to 15 cm across and 1–5 cm thick, of curved, often crisped, rigid filaments, in the uppermost sublittoral of sheltered habitats. Filaments without attachment cells and of similar diameter throughout (Fig. 57D). Cells (300–) 350–400 µm in diameter and L/B (1.5–) 2–3 (–4)(3–5 according to Hooker & Harvey), not or slightly incised at the cross walls; lateral walls 30–60 µm thick, cross walls 8–15 µm thick; chloroplasts densely reticulate to discoid and closely aggregated, with numerous pyrenoids; nuclei numerous.

Reproduction: Reproduction unknown.

Type from Georgetown, Tas. (Gunn 1345); in BM (ex K).

Selected specimens: Venus Bay, S. Aust., upper sublittoral (Womersley, 17.i.1951; ADU, A 13647). Rabbit I., Pelican Lagoon, American R. inlet, Kangaroo I., S. Aust., upper sublittoral (Womersley, 31.v.1947; ADU, A5668). Port Arthur, Tas. (Cribb, 31.iii.1950; ADU, A16050).

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

Distribution: From Venus Bay, S. Aust. to Port Phillip, Vic., and Port Arthur, Tas., usually on tidal flats in sheltered localities.

Stewart I., New Zealand (Harvey 1855b, p. 263).

Taxonomic notes: Ch. valida and Ch. billardierii are closely related species and study of living material of both is needed. They appear to differ in the former having rigid, crisped filaments, usually dark green, whereas the latter has fairly straight, more flaccid, and light green filaments which become yellow-green in emergent masses. There may also be differences in wall thickness and chloroplast structure.

Some of these differences may depend on the habitat and physiological state of the thallus, but scattered plants of Ch. valida have been collected from within extensive areas of Ch. billardierii at American River inlet on Kangaroo Island, where they appear to be distinct taxa.

Ch. billardierii Kützing 1847 was apparently published in March and Conferva valida Hooker & Harvey 1847 in August, so if these names are united then Kützing's name has priority.


HARVEY, W.H. (1855b). Algae. In J.D. Hooker, The Botany of the Antarctic Voyage. Part II. Flora Novae-Zelandiae. Vol. 2, pp. 211–266, Plates 107–121.

HOOKER, J.D. & HARVEY, W.H. (1847) Algae Tasmanicae. Lond. J. Bot. 6, 397–417.

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.)

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 56B, 57D.

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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