Electronic Flora of South Australia Genus Fact Sheet

Genus POLYPHYSA Lamarck 1816: 151

Phylum Chlorophyta – Order Dasycladales – Family Polyphysaceae

Thallus single or usually clumped, stalk usually calcified, bearing successive whorls of colourless hairs and a summit whorl of gametangial rays, free or loosely and partially adherent into a disc or cup. Superior corona present, inferior corona absent.

Reproduction: Reproduction by gametes from cysts formed in the gametangial rays.

Type species: P. australis Lamarck [= P. peniculus (Brown ex Turner) C. Agardh].

Taxonomic notes: A genus of some 8 species (Valet 1969, p. 606), with the type species on southern Australian coasts.

Polyphysa has usually been regarded as a subgenus of Acetabularia but is considered by Bailey, Rezak & Cox (1976) to be worthy of generic recognition due to the absence of an inferior corona. The latter, however, is represented by a slight bulge in P. peniculus and it may be debated whether this distinction is satisfactory at a generic level. Some species of Polyphysa also show partial to moderate lateral adherence of the gametangial rays to form a cup. However, P. peniculus is superficially the most distinct species of Polyphysa, as well as being the type species, and is here kept generically distinct.


BAILEY, G.P., REZAK, R. & COX, E.R. (1976). A revision of generic concepts of living members in the subfamily Acetabularieae (Dasycladaceae, Dasycladales) based on scanning electron microscopy. Phycologia 15, 7–18.

LAMARCK, J.B. de (1816). Histoire Naturelle des Animaux sans vertebres. Vol. 2. (Paris.)

VALET, G. (1969). Contribution a l'étude des Dayscladales 2. Cytologie et reproduction. 3. Révision systématique. Nova Hedwigia 17, 551–644, Plates 133–162.

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
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