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Electronic Flora of South Australia Species Fact Sheet

Codium spongiosum Harvey 1855c:565; 1858: pl. 55.

Phylum Chlorophyta – Order Codiales – Family Codiaceae

Selected citations: Lucas 1936: 51. Silva & Womersley 1956: 268, fig. 5.

Thallus (Fig. 75E) light to medium green, pulvinate or undulate, with irregular lobes, to 15 cm thick and to 20 (–50) cm across, moderately firm when living, soon becoming spongy, moderately adherent to substratum. Utricles (Fig. 76F) in large clusters, older utricles 400–520 µm in diameter at apices, enlarging below to 850 µm, 2–6 mm long; younger utricles 130–400 µm in diameter, 1–4 mm long; utricle apices rounded, wall very slightly to moderately (to 32 µm) thickened, becoming lamellate; hairs (or scars) abundant. Medullary filaments 30–100 µm in diameter, without plugs. Gametangia lanceolate-ovoid, 50–175 µm in diameter, 210–360 µm long, usually several per utricle.

Lectotype from King Georges Sound, W. Aust.; in Herb. Harvey, TCD (AIg. Aust. Exsicc. 577).

Selected specimens: South Passage, Shark Bay, W. Aust., 5 m deep (Cambridge, 16.vii.1979; ADU, A 51761). Elliston, S. Aust., upper sublittoral inside bay (Womersley, 14.ii.1954; ADU, A19383). Wallaroo, S. Aust., drift (Harris, 25.vi.1945; ADU, A1581). Pig I., Pelican Lagoon, American R. inlet, Kangaroo I., S. Aust., upper sublittoral (Womersley, 12.iv.1947; ADU A4489). Haylings Reef, Apollo Bay, Vic. (Pope & Bennett, 17.i.1949; ADU, A15276).

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

Distribution: From Point Cloates (22°42'S, 113° 40'E), W. Aust. around southern Australia to Apollo Bay, Vic., and in ()id. and Tasmania (?).

South Africa, Mauritius, Lord Howe I., New Caledonia, Hawaiian Is, Brazil (Silva 1960, p. 503).

Taxonomic notes: C. spongiosum occurs under moderately calm conditions, from just below low water to several metres deep, particularly in warmer areas; its occurrence on the colder south-eastern coasts of Australia is sparse and doubtful in Tasmania though recorded by Guiler (1952, p. 75).


GUILER, E.R. (1952). The Marine Algae of Tasmania. Check List with localities. Pap. Proc. R. Soc. Tasm. 86, 71–106.

HARVEY, W.H. (1855c). Some Account of the marine botany of the colony of Western Australia. Trans. R. Ir. Acad. 22, 525–566.

HARVEY, W.H. (1858). Phycologia Australica. Vol. 1, Plates 1–60. (Reeve: London.)

LUCAS, A.H.S. (1936). The Seaweeds of South Australia. Pt. I. Introduction and the Green and Brown Seaweeds. (Govt Printer: Adelaide.)

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

SILVA, P.C. (1960). Codium (Chlorophyta) in the tropical Western Atlantic. Nova Hedwigia 1, 497–536, Plates 107–123.

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 75E, 76F.

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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