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Codium capitulatum Silva & Womersley 1956: 263, fig. 2, Pl. 1 fig. 1.

Phylum Chlorophyta – Order Codiales – Family Codiaceae

Thallus (Fig. 75B) firm, dark green, applanate and lobed, closely adherent to rock, to 1 cm thick and to 15 cm across. Utricles (Fig. 76B) in large clusters; primary utricles 70–140 µm in diameter at apices, constricted 50–85 µm below apices, usually expanded below to 230 µm in diameter, 600–1300 µm long; secondary utricles 40–85 µm in diameter at apex, prominently constricted just below apices and capitate, expanding to 115 µm in diameter below, 600–1000 µm long, separated from adjacent utricles by a plug; wall of utricles thin, not or only slightly thickened at apices; hairs (or scars) prominent just below constriction on primary and often on secondary utricles. Medullary filaments distinctly slenderer than utricles, 16–45 µm in diameter, without plugs. Gametangia fusiform, 60–110 pm in diameter, 240–380 µm long.

Type from Elliston, S. Aust. (Womersley, 14.ii.1954); in ADU, A19384.

Selected specimens: Hopetoun, W. Aust., drift (Gordon, 20.xi.1968; ADU, A34173). Elliston, S. Aust., lower eulittoral in shade (Womersley, 15.i.1951; ADU, A13623 and Woelkerling, 16.v.1968; ADU,A32491-"Marine Algae of southern Australia" No. 18). Entrance to Kellidie Bay, Coffin Bay, S. Aust., lower eulittoral, shaded (Womersley, 22.viii.1967; ADU, A31823). Seal Bay, Kangaroo 1., S. Aust., drift (Womersley, 31.x.1966; ADU, A30958). Walkerville, Vic., low eulittoral ( Womersley & Sinkora, 11.xi.1982; ADU, A53974).

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

Distribution: From Hopetoun, W. Aust., to Walkerville, Vic., in the lower eulittoral and uppermost sublittoral on rock platforms on rough-water coasts, often where shaded and with slight shelter.

Taxonomic notes: C. capitulatum is closely related to C. lucasii but is distinguished by its longer, regularly constricted utricles with symmetrical apices.


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 75B, 76B.

Figure 75 image

Figure 75   enlarge

Fig. 75. A. Codium dimorphum (ADU, A19830). B. Codium capitulalum (ADU, A19384). C. Codium lucasii (ADU, A45051). D. Codium perriniae (ADU, A37803). E. Codium spongiosum (ADU, A1581).

Figure 76 image

Figure 76   enlarge

Fig. 76. Utricle clusters with gametangia. A. Codium dimorphum (ADU, A19830). R. Codium capitulatum (ADU, A13623). C. Codium lucasii (ADU, A20401). D. Codium lucasii (Royce 1039 in PERTH, UC). E. Codium perriniae (ADU, Al2781). F. Codium spongiosum (ADU, A19383). (After Silva & Womersley 1956.)

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