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Cystophora cuspidata J. Agardh 1896: 48.

Phylum Phaeophyta – Order Fucales – Family Cystoseiraceae

Selected citations: Womersley 1964: 97, fig. 41, pl. 14 fig. 1.

Thallus (Fig. 148A) medium to dark brown, 20–60 cm long, with primary axes bearing dense tufts of secondary axes or laterals. Holdfast discoid-conical, 0.5–1 cm across; epilithic. Primary axes compressed, 3–6 mm broad and 1–2 mm thick, fairly straight, alternately distichously branched from the face with short (occasionally to 25 cm long), slightly retroflex, often basally denuded secondary axes; tertiary axes usually remaining short. Laterals 2–4 cm long, simple or usually irregularly alternately (sometimes subdistichously) and closely branched; ramuli simple or occasionally branched, 1–6 cm long and 0.5–1 mm in diameter. Vesicles absent.

Reproduction: Thalli monoecious. Receptacles (Fig. 149H) simple or branched, (1–) 2–6 (–8) cm long, with prominent swollen conceptacles closely arranged in 2 or 3 rows in the basal half or more of the receptacle (then 1.5–4 mm broad), above more distantly scattered with intervening sterile regions and a terminal awn. Conceptacles bisexual, with ostioles in rows in lower part, more scattered above, with simple paraphyses; oogonia sessile, ovoid, 80–120 µm long and 45–75 in diameter; antheridia on branched paraphyses, elongate-ovoid, 20–28 µm long and 10–12 µm in diameter.

Type from Encounter Bay, S. Aust.; in Herb. Agardh, LD, 1130.

Selected specimens: Point Sinclair, S. Aust., uppermost sublittoral pools ( Womersley, 25.i.1951; ADU, A13896). Elliston, S. Aust., drift ( Womersley, 13.i.1951; ADU, A13445). Victor Harbor, S. Aust., drift ( Womersley, 22.iv.1951; ADU, A15516). Port Elliot, S. Aust., drift (Womersley, 10.viii.1957; ADU, A21084). Warrnambool, Vic., low eulittoral pools (Pope & Bennett, 16.viii.1949; ADU, Al2118). Brighton Beach, Port Phillip, Vic., drift ( Womersley, 29.v.1948; ADU, A8344). Eddystone Point, N.E. Tas., lower eulittoral pool (Bennett, 20.vi.1954; ADU, A 19809).

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

Distribution: From Point Sinclair, S. Aust. to Port Phillip, Vic., and N.E. Tas.

Taxonomic notes: C. cuspidata is closely related to C. subfarcinata, and may be only a form of the latter with particularly well developed receptacles with conceptacles adjacent and in 2 or 3 rows.


AGARDH, J.G. (1896). Analecta Algologica. Cont. III. Ada Univ. lund. 32, 1–140, Plate 1.

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

Illustrations in Womersley Part II, 1997: FIGS 148A, 149H.

Figure 148 image

Figure 148   enlarge

Fig. 148. A. Cystophora cuspidata (ADU, A13445). B. Platythalia quercifolia (ADU, A50950).

Figure 149 image

Figure 149   enlarge

Fig. 149. Receptacles of species of Cystophora. A. Cystophora congesta (ADU, A26738). A lateral with receptacles and a vesicle. B,C. Cystophora retroflexa (B, ADU, A26787; C, ADU, A26883). B. A secondary axis and laterals. C. A lateral with receptacles and a vesicle. D. Cystophora cvmodoceae (ADU, A2398l, holotype). A lateral and ramuli with vesicles. E–G. Cystophora subfarcinata (E, ADU, A6551; F, ADU, A5719; G, ADU, A19876). E. Laterals of the e-vesiculate form. F. Loosely branched laterals with vesicles. G. Much branched lateral with basal vesicles. H. Cystophora cuspidata (ADU, A21084).

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