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Electronic Flora of South Australia Species Fact Sheet

Caulocystis uvifera (C. Agardh) Areschoug 1854: 335.

Phylum Phaeophyta – Order Fucales – Family Cystoseiraceae

Selected citations: Nizamuddin 1964c: 42–63. Womersley 1964: 101, fig. 45, pl. 15 fig. 2.


Sargassum uviferum C. Agardh 1824: 306.

Cystophora uvifera (C. Agardh) J. Agardh 1848: 246. Harvey 1860: pl. 175.

Thallus (Fig. 129A) medium to dark brown, (10–) 20–40 (–60) cm long, with a short stipe and main axis bearing 1–4 mature primary branches, each much branched with laterals of limited growth. Holdfast discoid, (3–) 5–10 mm across; epilithic. Primary branches terete, 2–3 (–4) mm in diameter, bearing irregularly radial and usually densely arranged laterals, 1–5 mm apart, giving the branch an elongate-conical shape, with occasional secondary branches from the lower branch axis, and scattered vesicles borne directly on the primary branch axes (rarely on secondary branch axes); branch axes becoming denuded basally, with short, stubby residues; vesicles on a pedicel 2–5 mm long, subspherical to ovoid, 3–7 (–9) mm in diameter, mutic or occasionally with a short mucro 1–2 mm long. Lateral ramuli (1–) 2-many times furcate or laterally branched at intervals of 1–5 cm, terete, (2–) 3–9 cm long and 0.5–1.5 mm in diameter, usually simple when young or on secondary branches, with prominent cryptostomata. Growth from a single, three-sided, apical cell in an apical depression. Structure of a central compact medulla of elongate cells with few hyphae, and a cortex of large, isodiametric, cells decreasing to the surface meristoderm.

Reproduction: Thallus monoecious. Receptacles developed from upper ends of ramuli, simple, terete to lanciform, smooth, (0.5–) 1–2 (–3) cm long and 1–2 mm in diameter, with scattered ostioles. Conceptacles numerous, bisexual, basal columella with some phaeophycean hairs and paraphyses; oogonia basal, sessile, ovoid, 80–160 µm long and 50–90 µm in diameter; antheridia sessile or on branched paraphyses, elongate-ovoid, 20–30 µm long and 7–10 µm in diameter.

Type from Shark Bay, W. Aust. (Gaudichaud); holotype in Herb. Agardh, LD, 2475.

Selected specimens: South Passage, Shark Bay, W. Aust., 5 m deep (Cambridge, 16.viii.1979; ADU, A51765). Pelsart I., Houtman Abrolhos, W. Aust., on inner reef ( Womersley, 1.ix.1947; ADU, A5873). Rottnest I., W. Aust., drift (Cribb 67.11, 9.viii.1950; ADU, A14003). Venus Bay, S. Aust., upper sublittoral (Womersley, 17.i.1951; ADU, A13692). Troubridge Light, Edithburgh, S. Aust., 14 m deep (Shepherd, 2.ii.1969; ADU, A33460). Antechamber Bay, Kangaroo I., S. Aust., drift ( Womersley, 18.viii.1948; ADU, A8688). Pennington Bay, Kangaroo I., S. Aust., on reef ( Womersley, 28.i.1944; ADU, A2364). Point Lonsdale, Vic., reef pools (Mathieson, 21.ix.1946; ADU, A4051). Limeburner Point, Port Phillip, Vic., 2–4 m deep (Macpherson, 16.ii.1958; ADU, A23217). Bombay Rock, Tamar Est., Tas., upper sublittoral (Womersley, 27.i.1949; ADU, A10345). Meredith Point, Prosser Bay, Tas., sublittoral (Olsen, 2.xi.1963; ADU, A26892). Coogee, N.S.W. (Lucas, July 1901; NSW).

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

Distribution: From Shark Bay, W. Aust. around southern Australia and Tasmania to Coogee, N.S.W. Norfolk I.

Taxonomic notes: C. uvifera is characterised by the subspherical vesicles, but young plants or those (usually in shallow or rough-water situations) without vesicles cannot be separated from C. cephalornithos. C. uvifera occurs from low tide level to deep water, usually under slight to moderate water movement.


AGARDH, C.A. (1824). Systema Algarum. (Lund.)

AGARDH, J.G. (1848). Species, Genera et Ordines Algarum. Vol. 1. (Gleerup: Lund.)

ARESCHOUG, J.E. (1854). Phyceae novae et minus cognitae in maribus extraeuropaeis collectae. Ada Reg. Soc. Sci. Upsala, Ser. III, 1, 329–372.

HARVEY, W.H. (1860). Phycologia Australica. Vol. 3, Plates 121–180. (Reeve: London.)

NIZAMUDDIN, M. (1964c). The anatomy and life history of Cystophora, Acrocarpia and Caulocystis (Fucales). Bot. Mar. 7, 42–63.

WOMERSLEY, H.B.S. (1964). The morphology and taxonomy of Cystophora and related genera (Phaeophyta). Aust. J. Bot. 12, 53–110, Plates 1–16.

The Marine Benthic Flora of Southern Australia Part II complete list of references.

Author: H.B.S. Womersley

Publication: Womersley, H.B.S. (14 December, 1987)
The Marine Benthic Flora of Southern Australia
Part II
©Board of the Botanic Gardens and State Herbarium, Government of South Australia

Illustration in Womersley Part II, 1997: FIG. 129A.

Figure 129 image

Figure 129   enlarge

Fig. 129. A. Caulocystis uvifera (ADU, A10345). B. Caulocystis cephalornithos (ADU, A22537).

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