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Electronic Flora of South Australia Species Fact Sheet

Enteromorpha prolifera (Müller) J. Agardh.

Phylum Chlorophyta – Order Ulvales – Family Ulvaceae

Selected citations: Bliding 1963: 45, figs 19–23. Kapraun 1970: 214, figs 15, 16, 57–59. Womersley 1956: 353.

Thallus (Fig. 48D) light to medium green, erect from a small holdfast and often flaccid, terete or compressed, mostly 5–15 cm high and 0.5–2 cm broad, usually with frequent, proliferous branches but sometimes almost simple. Cells (Fig. 49H) usually arranged in longitudinal rows, often partly disrupted above, and to some extent in transverse rows, typically angular and four sided in upper thallus, 10–14 (–16) gm long and 8–12 (–14) µm broad, more rounded and larger in the stipe (to 25 µm long); chloroplast occupying most of the cell, with a single, relatively large pyrenoid occupying 20–60% of the cell width (Fig. 49H).

Reproduction: Reproduction (Bliding 1963, p. 46): generations isomorphic, gametophytes dioecious, anisogamous.

Type from Lolland, Denmark; lost. Bliding (1963, p. 52) discusses the nomenclature of E. prolifera and considers Herb. Agardh, LD, 13862 should be the "lectotype" of C. Agardh's understanding of the species.

Selected specimens: Onkaparinga R. estuary, 100 m from mouth, 30 cm deep (Inns & Thomas, 16.viii.1973; ADU, A43910). Altona, Vic., mid eulittoral on tidal flats (Maclennan, 7.ix.1950; ADU, A14129). Stewarts Bay, Port Arthur, Tas., 3–6 m deep (Cribb 149.21, 21.vi.1951; ADU, A21045).

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

Distribution: Widely distributed in temperate seas.

In southern Australia, known from the localities listed below, but probably more widespread.

Taxonomic notes: E. prolifera is characterised by the regular longitudinal rows of relatively small cells which are usually angular, square or shortly rectangular, and contain a single large pyrenoid. The above specimens agree well with one of Bliding's from Sweden but are little branched. The species clearly needs further study on Australian coasts.


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

KAPRAUN, D.F. (1970). Field and cultural studies of Ulva and Enteromorpha in the vicinity of Port Aransas, Texas. Contrib. Mar. Sci. 15, 205–285.

WOMERSLEY, H.B.S. (1956). A critical survey of the marine algae of southern Australia. I. Chlorophyta. Aust. J. mar. freshw. Res. 7, 343–383.

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 48D, 49H.

Figure 48 image

Figure 48   enlarge

Fig. 48. A. Enteromorpha ralfsii (ADU, A52642). B. Enteromorpha paradoxa (ADU, A22574). C. Enteromorpha linza (ADU, A53344). D. Enteromorpha prolifera (ADU, A14129). E. Enteromorpha flexuosa (ADU, A43697).

Figure 49 image

Figure 49   enlarge

Fig. 49. A,B. Enteromorpha ralfsii. A. Part of slender filament (ADU, A52642). B. Part of broader filament (ADU, A53180). C,D. Enteromorpha paradoxa (ADU, A43736). C. Young part of thallus. D. Older part of thallus. E–G. Enteromorpha linza (ADU, A53312). E. Surface view of cells. F. Cross section of young thallus margin. G. Cross section of older thallus margin. H. Enteromorpha prolifera (ADU, A21045). Surface view of cells.

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