Electronic Flora of South Australia Species Fact Sheet

Ulva taeniata (Setchell) Setchell & Gardner 1920a: 286, pl. 28; 1920b: 273, pl. 23.

Phylum Chlorophyta – Order Ulvales – Family Ulvaceae

Selected citations: Abbott & Hollenberg 1976: 87, fig. 43. Chapman 1956: 387, fig. 31,1. Smith 1944: 48, p1. 3 figs 1–3.


U. fasciata f. taeniata Setchell ex Collins 1903: 10.

Thallus (Fig. 46C) light to medium green when living, drying darker, (10–) 20–80 (–175) cm long and 2–3 (–5) cm broad, with a small discoid holdfast producing one to several elongate blades from shortly above the base; blades simple or occasionally branched, broadest near or somewhat above the base then tapering gradually to the tip, the sides moderately to strongly ruffled, often twisted usually with small, marginal few-celled spines (Fig. 47H). Cells in surface view arranged in short rows (Fig. 47J) or irregularly, more or less isodiametric and (7–) 10–15 µm across in central and upper parts of the thallus, becoming 20–25 µm across in the rhizoidal region near the base (Fig. 47L); pyrenoids 1–2 per cell, 2–3 in basal cells. Thallus in mid and upper parts 45–70 µm thick near the margins (Fig. 471) with cells L/B 1–2 and 20–25 µm long; 70–125 thick centrally (Fig. 47K) with cells L/B (1–) 2–2.5 (–3) and 25–38 µm long; rhizoids confined to basal few mm of thallus which is then 110–160 thick, cells L/B (1–) 1–2 (–2.5) and 35–45 µm long, with a relatively thin central layer of rhizoids (Fig. 47M).

Reproduction: Gametes isogamous (Abbott & Hollenberg 1976, p. 87); not reported for Australian plants.

Type from Monterey, California, U.S.A.; in UC.

Selected specimens: Cottesloe, W. Aust., on reefs (Smith, Jan. 1944; ADU, A5670)-needs confirmation. Elliston, S. Aust., 4 m deep near Salmon Point (Shepherd, 22.x.1970; ADU, A37514). Yilki, Victor Harbor, S. Aust., near-shore pools (Womersley, 26.x.1980; ADU, A51822). Robe, S. Aust., upper sublittoral pools, slipway reef (Womersley, 24.viii.1960; ADU, A24416). Lauderdale, Tas. (Kingsbury, 5.ii.1980; HO, 41350).

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

Distribution: Central California. New Zealand.

In southern Australia, from Elliston, S. Aust. (probably further west, possibly to Cottesloe, W. Aust.) to Walkerville, Vic. and around Tasmania, generally on rough-water rock platforms at about low tide level. The longest thalli develop where water streams over the platforms at low tide.

Taxonomic notes: The southern Australian specimens agree well in form and cell structure with this Californian species, which appears closely related to U. stenophylla Setchell & Gardner (1920a, p. 282, pl. 26 fig. 2, pl. 29). The latter species was described as without pyrenoids, but Chihara (1969, p. 858) found a pyrenoid in each cell of the type. Both Setchell & Gardner (1920b, pp. 262, 271, 273) and Abbott & Hollenberg (1976, pp. 78, 87) separate U. taeniata as having divided fronds from near the base and U. stenophylla as having simple fronds. Southern Australian specimens are usually divided near their base into 2 to several fronds and are therefore referred to U. taeniata, which (as a forma) is also an earlier name than U. stenophylla.

Juvenile forms without elongate ruffled branches are similar in habit and structure to U. australis and the relationships of such forms, and of U. taeniata and U. australis, on Australian coasts need further study.


ABBOTT, I.A. & HOLLENBERG, G.J. (1976). Marine Algae of California. (Stanford Univ. Press: Stanford.)

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.

CHIHARA, M. (1969). Ulva arasakii, a new species of green algae: its life history and taxonomy. Bull. Natl. Sci. Mus. (Tokyo) 12, 849–862, Plate 1.

COLLINS, F.S. (1903). The Ulvaceae of North America. Rhodora 5, 1–31, Plates 41–43.

SETCHELL, W.A. & GARDNER, N.L. (1920a). Phycological contributions 1. Univ. Calif Publ. Bot. 7, 279–324.

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.

SMITH, G.M. (1944). Marine algae of the Monterey Peninsula, California. (Stanford.)

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 46C, 47 H–M.

Figure 46 image

Figure 46   enlarge

Fig. 46. A. Ulva spathulata (ADU, A15224). B. Ulva fasciata (ADU, A22338). C. Ulva taineata (ADU, A24416).

Figure 47 image

Figure 47   enlarge

Fig. 47. A–C. Ulva spathulata (ADU, A15224). A. Surface and cross section views of upper spathulate part. B. Surface view of petiolar region. C. Cross section of petiolar region. D–G. Ulva fasciata (ADU, A22437). D. Surface view of young part near tip. E. Cross section of mid part of thallus. F. Surface view of thallus just above rhizoidal region. G. Cross section of thallus in rhizoidal region. H–M. Ulva taeniata (ADU, A24416). H. Margin with spines. I. Cross section of thallus near margin. J. Surface of mid part of upper thallus. K. Cross section view in central part of upper thallus. L. Surface view of rhizoidal region. M. Cross section view of rhizoidal region.

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