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Electronic Flora of South Australia Species Fact Sheet

Wittrockiella salina Chapman 1949: 495, fig. 1; 1956: 469, fig. 129.

Phylum Chlorophyta – Order Cladophorales – Family Cladophoraceae

Selected citations: van den Hoek, Ducker & Womersley 1984: 39, figs 1–4.


Cladophorella marina Chapman 1956: 442, fig. 92b,c. Beanland & Woelkerling 1982: 94.

Thallus (Fig. 69C,D) dark green, coarse, forming either prostrate branch systems scarcely visible on the substrate, or densely branched mats 1–6 cm across and 3–7 mm thick, or subspherical to ovoid, free floating, hollow balls 1–12 cm in diameter (Fig. 69C). Filaments (Fig. 71A,C,E,F) rigid, interwoven, usually of similar diameter throughout apart from slenderer, young filaments, producing one (rarely 2) branches from most cells and many lower cells with 1–2 subterminal, multicellular, tapering rhizoids from their lower sides; hairs (seen on Cape Bridgewater collections only) slender, unicellular, colourless (Fig. 71A). Growth largely apical, laterals usually subterminal and at a wide angle to parent cells but sometimes becoming sub-parallel, with their basal cross wall vertical to steeply inclined to parent cell; cells usually irregular in shape, with curved and often bulging walls (Fig. 71A); chloroplasts parietal, discoid and numerous or tending to form a reticulum, variable in size (often angular), the larger with a pyrenoid (Fig. 71D); oil droplets present.

Apical cells cylindrical or tapering, with rounded tips, (60–) 90–200 µm in diameter, L/B 1.5–4 (–9); lower mature cells 100–300 µm in diameter, L/B 0.8–3; ratio of basal cells to apical cell diameters 1–3 (–6); wall 2–8 µm thick in apical cells, 10–15 µm thick below.

Reproduction: Reproduction unknown.

Type from Stanmore Bay (near Auckland), New Zealand; not located in AK.

Selected specimens: Ardrossan, S. Aust., mid eulittoral on jetty piles, shaded (van den Hoek & Womersley, 20.ix.1981; ADU, A53566). Onkaparinga Estuary at Old Noarlunga, on pebbles and fallen tree trunks, emergent at low water ( Womersley, 10.iii.1983; ADU, A54012). Nelson lagoon, Vic., lower eulittoral (Beauglehole, 10.v.1959; ADU, A24805 and Womersley, 29.xii.1981 and 14.v.1982; ADU, A52838 and A53084 resp.). Cape Bridgewater, Vic., very high rock pool (van den Hoek, 3.ix.1981; ADU, A52650). "Moss Ball Pool" (Mullachie Swamp), off Bunga Arm of Lake King, S.W. of Lakes Entrance, Vic., as floating balls (Ducker 1423, 28.v.1964; ADU, A52350 and I I .v.1976; MELU, 22328). Lake Bunga (N.E. of Lakes Entrance), Vic., in a side arm of lake ( Womersley, 12.xi.1982; ADU, A53827-"Marine Algae of southern Australia" No. 232).

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

Distribution: New Zealand (Auckland region north).

In Australia, from Spencer Gulf, S. Aust. (see Beanland & Woelkerling 1982, Table 4) to Lake Bunga, Vic., and from Huon R. mouth, Tas. and Avoca Lagoon, N.S.W.

Taxonomic notes: This species is discussed by van den Hoek, Ducker & Womersley (1984). It shows a remarkable range of variation from filaments forming a thin, microscopic layer on wooden jetty piles at Ardrossan, to coarse mats a few centimetres across and with much associated mud sediment in the Onkaparinga Estuary and at Nelson lagoon, to the extensive mats in a side pool of Lake Bunga, and to the remarkable, floating aegagropila type balls in Mullachie Swamp off Lake King. In the Onkaparinga Estuary, the mats are very much reduced during winter freshwater river flow.


BEANLAND, W.R. & WOELKERLING, W.J. (1982). Studies on Australian mangrove algae: II. Composition and geographical distribution of communities in Spencer Gulf, South Australia. Proc. R. Soc. Vic. 94, 89–106.

CHAPMAN, V.J. (1949). Some new species and forms of marine algae from New Zealand. Farlowia 3, 495–698.

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.

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 69C,D, 71.

Figure 69 image

Figure 69   enlarge

Fig. 69, A. Cladophora sericea (ADU, A31817). B. Cladophora vadorum (ADU. A32744). C,D. Wittrockiella salina, C. (ADU, A53315), D. (ADU, A53084).

Figure 71 image

Figure 71   enlarge

Fig. 71. Wittrockiella salina. A. Filaments from Cape Bridgewater, with slender hairs (ADU, A52650). B. Base of a hair (ADU, A52650). C. Filaments from jetty piles at Ardrossan (ADU, A52566). D. Chloroplasts with bilenticular pyrenoids (ADU, A52566). E. Filaments from ball form from Gippsland Lakes (MELU, 22328). F. Filaments from Nelson Lagoon (ADU, A24805). All figures from van den Hoek, Ducker & Womersley 1984.

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