Electronic Flora of South Australia Species Fact Sheet

Cladophora albida (Hudson) Kützing. van den Hoek 1963: 94, figs 231–244, 246–316; 1982: 100, figs 133–137, 144.

Phylum Chlorophyta – Order Cladophorales – Family Cladophoraceae


Cl. gracillima Kützing 1849: 400.

Cl. gracillima Harvey 1859b: 340.

Cl. harveyi Womersley 1956: 359.

Thallus (Fig. 66C) light to medium green, forming densely branched pompons or dense tufts 0.5–5 (–7) cm high, usually in the lower eulittoral on medium to rough-water coasts, with numerous gently tapering axes from a tightly clumped base, irregularly to often unilaterally branched with older and newer laterals inter-mixed (Fig. 68A–C); normally epilithic, attached by rhizoids from basal and often sub-basal cells. Growth weakly (Fig. 68B) or distinctly acropetal (Fig. 68A) (with straight or refract or falcate, mostly unilateral, branchlets) but with frequent intercalary divisions, new cells usually producing a lateral but with occasional rows of several unbranched cells (Fig. 68B); parent cells with 1–2 (–3) laterals at acute to broad angles; basal cross walls of laterals steeply inclined to oblique, becoming almost horizontal in older main branches.

Apical cells (Fig. 68D) cylindrical, 16–3211m in diameter and L/B 2–6.5; ultimate branch cells 18–32 gm in diameter and L/B 2–4; lower thallus cells 40–80 pm in maximum diameter and L/B 2–8; ratio of lower cell to apical cell diameters 2–3; cell walls 0.5–1 µm thick above, 6–8 µm thick and lamellate below.

Reproduction: Reproduction by terminal rows of cells forming swollen zooidangia (Fig. 68D); in Europe (van den Hoek 1963, p.100) by biflagellate gametes and quadriflagellate (or biflagellate) zoospores.

Type from Island of Selsey, England (Dillenius); in OXF (see van den Hoek 1963: 94).

Selected specimens: Watermans Bay Perth, W. Aust., reef surface, low eulittoral (Womersley, 3.ix.1979; ADU, A50987). Point Sinclair, S. Aust., lower part of mid eulittoral, W. side of granite point (Womersley, 7.ii.1954; ADU, A19581). Barker Rocks, Yorke Pen., S. Aust., lower eulittoral depresssions (van den Hoek 81/63; ADU, A52567). Pondalowie Bay, Yorke Pen., S. Aust., mid eulittoral wave-washed ledges (van den Hoek 81/58, 19.xi.1981; ADU, A52684). Ardrossan, Yorke Pen., S. Aust., low eulittoral, (van den Hoek 81/67, 20.ix.1981; ADU, A52686). Cape Lannes, S. Aust., mid eulittoral wave-washed rocks (van den Hoek 81/1, 6.ix.1981; ADU, A52369). Portland, Vic., low eulittoral in harbour (van den Hoek 81/5, 3.ix.1981; ADU, A52681). Point Lonsdale, Vic., lower eulittoral (van den Hoek 81/6, 31.viii.1981; ADU, A52682).

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

Distribution: Widely distributed in temperate waters.

In southern Australia, from North Beach (Perth), W. Aust. to Port Jackson, N.S.W.

Taxonomic notes: Cl. albida is similar in habit, branching and growth to Cl. sericea but is distinct in having apical cells with rounded tips and in dimensions of the apical cells and older filaments, in the smaller ratio of lower cell to apical cell diameters and in the often refract to falcate terminal clusters (which often show a distinct acropetal organization). Cl. albida may often resemble Cl. dalmatica (especially when having acropetal clusters), but differs by its lower shorter cells (produced by frequent intercalary divisions) and its smaller ratio of lower cell to apical cell diameters.


HARVEY, W.H. (1859b). Algae. In J.D. Hooker, the Botany of the Antarctic Voyage. Part III. Flora Tasmaniae. Vol. 2, pp.282–343, Plates 185–196.

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

VAN DEN HOEK, C. (1963). Revision of the European species of Cladophora. (Brill: Leiden.)

VAN DEN HOEK, C. (1982). A taxonomic revision of the American species of Cladophora (Chlorophyceae) in the North Atlantic Ocean and their geographic distribution. Verh. k. Ned. Akad. Wet. Afd. Natuurkd. Tweede Reeks, Part 78.

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: C. van den Hoek and 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 66C, 68 A–D.

Figure 66 image

Figure 66   enlarge

Fig. 66. A. Cladophora hutchinsioides (Holotype). B. Cladophora montagneana (ADU, A51018). C. Cladophora albida (ADU, A52682). D. Cladophora crinalis (ADU, A52690).

Figure 68 image

Figure 68   enlarge

Fig. 68. A–D. Cladophora albida (A,B,ADU, 452369, C,D, ADU. 452567). A–C. Upper branch systems. D. Reproductive filaments. E–G. Cladophora crinalis (ADV. A52367). E. Branch system. F. Upper filaments with iooidangia. G. Base of thallus.

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