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Electronic Flora of South Australia Species Fact Sheet

Codium australicum Silva in Silva & Womersley 1956: 280, fig. 13, pl. 2 fig. 2.

Phylum Chlorophyta – Order Codiales – Family Codiaceae

Thallus (Fig. 79C) firm, dark green, erect, repeatedly dichotomous, to 50 cm high, branches terete, 4–8 (–10) mm in diameter below, tapering gradually to 2–3 mm in diameter near apices. Utricles (Fig. 80C) cylindrical to slightly clavate, (100–) 130–210)(–300) in diameter, 460–800 µm long; apices rounded to truncate, wall thin or slightly thickened (-15 µm, rarely to 35 µm then lamellate); hairs (or scars) common, borne shortly below apices. Medullary filaments 20–35 µm in diameter with the plug 65–200 µm distant from utricle base. Gametangia elongate-ovoid, 80–160 µm in diameter and 230–390 µm long, 1–3 per utricle, borne on a protuberance at or below middle of utricle.

Type from Robe, S. Aust. (Wollaston, 17.iii.1956); in ADU, A20409.

Selected specimens: Emu Beach, King Georges Sound, W. Aust., drift (Mitchell, 27.ix.1966; ADU, A30817). Investigator Str., S. Aust., 33 m deep (Watson Stn Y18A, 24.i.1971: ADU, A38221). Robe, S. Aust., upper sublittoral pool (Womersley, 11.xii.1969; ADU, A34857-"Marine Algae of southern Australia" No. 17). Walkerville, Vic., drift (Sinkora A2106, 28.ii.1975; ADU, A48550). Fluted Cape, Bruny I., Tas., 23 m deep (Shepherd, 12.ii.1972; ADU, A41907). Port Arthur, Tas. (Cribb 150.1, 20.vi.1951; UC 949773).

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

Distribution: From Geographe Bay, W. Aust. around southern Australia and Tasmania to Tuggerah Lakes, N.S.W.

New Zealand.

Taxonomic notes: Cl. australicum is a sublittoral species known from low water level (usually shaded) to 33 metres deep, on rough-water to moderate coasts. It is most closely related to C. harveyi and C. muelleri but differs in the utricle dimensions and apical characteristics, and also from C. harveyi in the plug position.


SILVA, P.C. & WOMERSLEY, H.B.S. (1956). The genus Codium (Chlorophyta) in southern Australia. Aust. J. Bot. 4, 261–289.

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 79C, 80C.

Figure 79 image

Figure 79   enlarge

Fig. 79. A. Codium harveyi (ADU, A10557, type). B. Codium muelleri (ADU, A35176). C. Codium australicum (ADU, A38221). D. Codium fragile (ADU, A34854). E. Codium spinescens (ADU, A19240. type).

Figure 80 image

Figure 80   enlarge

Fig. 80. Utricle clusters with gametangia. A. Codium harveyi (Perrin in UC and Mackay in K (right)). B. Codium muelleri (ADU. A18661). C. Codium australicum (Cribb 150.1 in UC). D. Codium fragile s.sp. tasmanicum (Cribb 126.9 in UC). E. Codium fragile s.sp. novae-zelandiae (ADU, A31711). F. Codium spinescens (Royce 616 in PERTH). (After Silva & Womersley 1956.)

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