Electronic Flora of South Australia Species Fact Sheet

Enteromorpha ralfsii Harvey 1850, pl. 282.

Phylum Chlorophyta – Order Ulvales – Family Ulvaceae

Selected citations: Bliding 1963; 43, fig. 18.

Thallus (Fig. 48A) light to dark green, unbranched (rarely with short proliferations), forming entangled, loose-lying masses on mud in the mid to upper eulittoral in mangrove or samphire communities; filaments of similar diameter throughout though differing considerably in different collections (Fig. 49A,B), (35–) 60–200 (–250) ym thick, cavity narrow to several times as broad as cell thickness. Cells (Fig. 49A,B) in distinct longitudinal rows (with 3–8 (–15) rows in surface view), square to rectangular, 14–20 (–24) µm long and 8–14 µm broad with L/B 1–2; chloroplast filling most of the cell, with (2–) 3–5 pyrenoids per cell.

Reproduction: Reproduction (Bliding 1963, p. 45) by quadriflagellate zoospores only.

Type from Bangor, N. Wales; lost (see Bliding 1963, p. 45).

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

Distribution: Britain, Europe, recorded by Chapman (1956, p. 423) from New Zealand.

In southern Australia, known from Garden I., Port Adelaide, S. Aust., mid eulittoral on mud and in depressions under mangroves (Womersley, 1.X.1981; ADU, A54642-"Marine Algae of southern Australia" No. 218) and from the I.C.I. saltfields, Port Adelaide, S. Aust., upper eulittoral (Gibbs-Clema, 2.vi.1982; ADU, A53180).

Taxonomic notes: E. ralfsii is a distinctive species with its unbranched, narrow filaments of similar diameter throughout (though often differing considerably in different collections), with cells in distinct rows, and 2–5 pyrenoids per cell. The related species E. torta (Mertens) Reinbold, which has smaller cells and only a single pyrenoid per cell, has not been recorded from Australia.


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

CHAPMAN, V.J. (1956). The marine algae of New Zealand. Part I. Myxophyceae and Chlorophyceae. J. Linn. Soc. Bot. 55 (360), 333–501, Plates 24–50.

HARVEY, W.H. (1850). Phycologia Britannica. Plates 253–354. (Reeve: London.)

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 48A, 49A,B.

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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