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Electronic Flora of South Australia Species Fact Sheet

Rosenvingiella polyrhiza (Rosenvinge) Silva 1957: 41.

Phylum Chlorophyta – Order Prasiolales

Selected citations: Kornmann & Sahling 1974: 107, figs 5–10.


Gayella polyrhiza Rosenvinge 1893: 937, figs 45, 46. Hamel 1930: 18, fig. 5. Setchell & Gardner 1920b: 280. Womersley 1956: 355.

Thallus (Fig. 52G,H) light to medium green, unbranched, forming tangled masses several cm across, on soil or rock in bird colonies above high tide level; filiform and solid, uniseriate initially (12–25 µm in diameter) and becoming irregular in thickness (30–40 µm in diameter) depending on degree of cell division, with occasional single or often paired rhizoids (Fig. 52G). Cells L/B 0.2–0.5 in uniseriate parts, variable in size in older parts and often in groups of two or four (Fig. 52H), isodiametric to elongate transverse to the filament, mostly 4–6 µm long in surface view, with a stellate to laminate chloroplast containing a central pyrenoid (Fig. 52H).

Reproduction: Reproduction (Edwards 1975) probably by non-motile spores and gametes; unknown for southern Australian plants.

Type from Goothalb, Greenland; in C.

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

Distribution: Cold temperate N. Atlantic, associated with sea bird colonies; Alaska ? (Scagel 1966, p. 70).

In southern Australia, known from Shag Rock, Pelican Lagoon, American R. inlet, Kangaroo I., S. Aust., supralittoral (Womersley, 27.vii.1947 and 10.i.1948; ADU, A5769 and A6729 resp.), Pennington Bay, Kangaroo I., S. Aust., supralittoral (Womersley, 28.vii.1947 and 23.viii.1948; ADU, A5795 and A9466 resp.), and probably (uniseriate only) Redbanks, Kangaroo I., S. Aust., upper eulittoral ( Womersley, 25.viii.1950; ADU, A15350).

Taxonomic notes: The southern Australian collections agree well with original material of Rosenvinge and with descriptions of the species.


EDWARDS, P. (1975). Evidence for a relationship between the genera Rosenvingiella and Prasiola (Chlorophyta). Br. phycol. J. 10, 291–297.

HAMEL, G. (1930). Chlorophycées des côtes francaises. (Paris.)

KORNMANN, P. & SAHLING, P.-H. (1974). Prasiolales (Chlorophyta) von Helgoland. Helgoländer wiss. Meeresunters. 26, 99–133.

ROSENVINGE, L.K. (1893). Grønlands Havalger. Med. Grønland 3, 765–981, Plates 1, 2.

SCAGEL, R.F. (1966). Marine algae of British Columbia and Northern Washington, Part I: Chlorophyceae (Green Algae). Natl Mus. Can. Bull. 207, i-viii, 1–257.

SETCHELL, W.A. & GARDNER, N.L. (1920b). The marine algae of the Pacific Coast of North America. Part II. Chlorophyceae. Univ. Calif Publ. Bot. 8, 139–375.

SILVA, P.C. (1957). Notes on Pacific marine algae. Madrono 14, 41–51.

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

Illustration in Womersley Part I, 1984: FIG. 52G,H.

Figure 52 image

Figure 52   enlarge

Fig. 52. A–C. Prasiola stipitata. A. Holdfast with several stipitate blades (ADU, A20486). B. Cells near margin (ADU, A22607). C. Cells within margin of thallus (ADU, A22607). D–F. Prasiola crispa (ADU, A53837). D. Habit, with slight basal attachment. E. Cells near margin. F. Cells in older part of thallus. G.H. Rosenvingiella polyrhiza (ADU, A5769). G. Largely uniseriate filament with rhizoids. H. Older multiseriate part of thallus.

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