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Electronic Flora of South Australia Species Fact Sheet

Codium spinescens Silva & Womersley 1956: 285, fig. 16, pl. 3.

Phylum Chlorophyta – Order Codiales – Family Codiaceae

Thallus (Fig. 79E) firm, medium to dark green, regularly dichotomous, to 20 cm high, branches terete, slender, tapering slightly from 3 mm in diameter near the base to 1–2 mm near the apices. Utricles (Fig. 80F) slender when young, becoming stout, irregularly cylindrical, 80–270 µm in diameter, 470–680 µm long, apices asymmetrical and strongly acuminate (to 80 µm long) with the wall of the mucro thickened, finely lamellate and often chambered; hairs (or scars) common. Medullary filaments 20–30 in diameter with the plug adjacent to the utricle base. Gametangia elongate-ovoid, 70–160 µm in diameter, 175–240 µm long, 1–3 per utricle, borne on a short protuberance just below middle of utricle.

Type from 16 km E. of Eucla, W. Aust. ( Womersley, 3.ii.1954); in ADU, A19240.

Selected specimens: North Beach, Perth, W. Aust., drift (Norris 1745, 27.iii.1959; ADU, A22260). Cottesloe, W. Aust., shallow sublittoral (Koh, March 1968; UWA). Torpedo Rocks, Yallingup, W. Aust., drift (Royce 616, 1.vi.1950; in PERTH). Head of Great Australian Bight, S. Aust., drift ( Woelkerling, 4.xi.1968; ADU, A34200).

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

Distribution: Known from the Abrolhos I., W. Aust., to the Head of the Great Australian Bight, S. Aust.

Taxonomic notes: This appears to be a western species, just extending into South Australia and usually from deeper water. It is most closely related to C. fragile but differs in habit and the short, stout, strongly spinous utricles.


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 79E, 80F.

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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