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Electronic Flora of South Australia Species Fact Sheet

Enteromorpha intestinalis (Linnaeus) Link. Bliding 1948: 123, figs 2–4, 10a-d; 1963: 139, figs 87, 88.

Phylum Chlorophyta – Order Ulvales – Family Ulvaceae

Thallus (Fig. 50D) medium to dark green, erect and basally attached, 2–15 cm high, unbranched, terete and broadening above to 4–6 mm. Cells (Fig. 51G, H) un-ordered throughout the thallus, polygonal to rounded, 10–14 (–18) µm long by (8–) 10–14 µm broad; chloroplast laminate with one (rarely two) pyrenoids.

Reproduction: Reproduction (Bliding 1963, p. 141): generations isomorphic, gametophytes dioecious, anisogamous.

Type locality uncertain; type probably lost.

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

Distribution: Cosmopolitan?

In southern Australia, from Christies Beach, S. Aust., 7 m deep on sewer outfall (Engler & Clarke, 11.iii.1981; ADU, A52030) and Taroona, Hobart, Tas., upper eulittoral pools (Womersley, 13.i.1949; ADU, A10136).

Taxonomic notes: E. intestinalis is regarded by Bliding (1948; 1963, p. 139) as differing from E. compressa in being unbranched (except for mention of occasional proliferous brackish water specimens regarded as abnormal-see also Reed & Russell 1978) and in having the cells un-ordered throughout the thallus. On these characters, very few southern Australian specimens can be referred to E. intestinalis and the species clearly needs more detailed study. Of the above two specimens, A52030 is morphologically and structurally similar to var. asexualis Bliding (with transversely elongate cells, and thick internal membrane-Fig. 51H) and A10136 is referred to E. intestinalis with some doubt. The latter is unbranched but more than one frond arise from a single holdfast. Bliding in 1950 also identified a specimen from the coast at Middle River, Kangaroo I., S. Aust., in rock pools (Womersley, 8.i.1946; ADU, A3456) as E. intestinalis, but the specimens in ADU show a few basal branches and also some cell rows in the upper frond and appear better referred to E. compressa.


BLIDING, C. (1948). Ober Enteromorpha intestinalis und compressa. Bot. Notiser 1948, 123–136.

BLIDING, C. (1963). A critical survey of European taxa in Ulvales. Part I. Capsosiphon, Percursaria, Blidingia, Enteromorpha. Opera Bot. 8(3), 1–160.

REED, R.H. & RUSSELL, G. (1978). Salinity fluctuations and their influence on "bottle brush" morphogenesis in Enteromorpha intestinalis (L.) Link. Br. phycol. J. 13, 149–153.

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 50D, 51G,H.

Figure 50 image

Figure 50   enlarge

Fig. 50. A. Enteromorpha clathrata (ADU, A19775). B. Enteromorpha compressa, compressed and ruffled form (ADU, A51248). C. Enteromorpha compressa, terete form (ADU, A51252). D. Enteromorpha intestinalis (ADU, A 10136).

Figure 51 image

Figure 51   enlarge

Fig. 51. A. Enteromorpha flexuosa (ADU, A43697). Surface view of cells. B,C. Enteromorpha clathrata (ADU, A 19775). B. Surface view of cells. C. Chloroplast and pyrenoids of a single cell. D–F. Enteromorpha compressa (ADU, A51248). D. Branch of compressed, ruffled form. E. Surface view of cells of terete form (ADU, A51252). F. Surface view of cells of compressed form (A51248). G,H. Enteromorpha intestinalis (ADU, A52030). G. Surface view of cells. H. Cross section of part of thallus.

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