Electronic Flora of South Australia Species Fact Sheet

Rhipiliopsis robusta Womersley 1971a:117, figs 9,13.

Phylum Chlorophyta – Order Caulerpales – Family Udoteaceae

Thallus (Fig. 83D) dark green to green-grey, usually 4–9 cm high, uncalcified; holdfast to 1 cm across, stipe 1–4 cm long and 2–3 mm in diameter, simple or occasionally branched above; lamina 2–5 cm high and 2–3.5 cm across, undivided but often lacerate or slightly lobed, faintly zoned, about 1 mm and several filaments thick, spongy but moderately dense and firm; surface of lamina without a distinct cortex but ends of some filaments lying at the surface. Filaments (Fig. 85F) robust, 150–200 µm in diameter, subdichotomous, distinctly moniliform with ovoid segments L/B 1.5–2 (–3), with thickened wall plugs ingrowing from the periphery of the constrictions, laterally attached by circular areas without projections from the filaments (Fig. 85G); chloroplasts round to ovoid, 2–3 µm long, without pyrenoids; amyloplasts ovoid, 3–5 Aim long (Fig. 85H).

Type from Tiparra Reef, Spencer Gulf, S. Aust., 11 m deep (Shepherd, 24.ii.1971); in ADU, A38130.

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

Distribution: Only known from the type locality and from Pearson I., S. Aust., 30 m deep (Shepherd, 10.i.1969; ADU, A34049). Other Tiparra Reef collections, all Shepherd, are 11 m deep (20.viii.1971; ADU, A39349), 11 m deep (24.ix.1971; ADU, A39479-"Marine Algae of southern Australia" No. 25b), 13 m deep (13.xii.1971; ADU, A41215-"Marine Algae of southern Australia" No. 25a) and 13 m deep (18.x.1972; ADU, A42788).

Taxonomic notes: R. robusta appears to be a deep water species, known from 11 to 30 m deep. The moniliform, ovoid segments, with perforate end walls and lateral attachment to adjacent segments, are very similar to those in Callipsygma and may indicate a closer relationship between these taxa.


WOMERSLEY, H.B.S. (1971a). New records and taxa of marine Chlorophyta in southern Australia. Trans. R. Soc. S. Aust. 95, 113–120.

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 83D, 85 F–H.

Figure 83 image

Figure 83   enlarge

Fig. 83. A. Callipsygma wilsonis (ADU, A37818). B. Rhipilia pusilla (ADU, A32893). C. Rhipiliopsis peltata (ADU, A37817). D. Rhipiliopsis robusta (ADU, A41215). E. Avrainvillea clavatiramea (ADU, A33962).

Figure 85 image

Figure 85   enlarge

Fig. 85. A–C. Rhipilia pusilla (ADU, A32893). A. Filaments of thallus. B. Filaments with lateral tenaculum attachment. C. Filament with tenaculum, and chloroplasts and amyloplasts. D–E. Rhipiliopsis peltata (ADU, A51874). D. Filaments with lateral zooidangia on lower filaments and several lateral attachment areas. E. Details of filaments near surface, with chloroplasts and amyloplasts. F–H. Rhipillopsis rohusta (ADU, A41215). F. Filaments with several lateral connections as seen in lengthwise section of the thallus. G. Segments with perforated end walls and lateral connections. H. Part of segment with chloroplasts and amyloplasts. I–K. Avrainvillea clavatiramea (ADU, A33962). I. Filaments from upper thallus. J. Upper branch. K. Branch of a filament, with chloroplasts and amyloplasts.

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