Electronic Flora of South Australia Species Fact Sheet

Cystophora torulosa (R. Brown ex Turner) J. Agardh 1848: 243; 1896: 48.

Phylum Phaeophyta – Order Fucales – Family Cystoseiraceae

Selected citations: Harvey 1860: pl. 123. Lindauer et al. 1961: 298, pl. 70, lower. Womersley 1964: 85, figs 28,29, pl. 9 fig. 1.


Fucus torulosus R. Brown ex Turner 1811: 52, pl. 157.

Thallus (Fig. 140B) medium to dark brown, robust, 10–60(450) cm long, with short, dense, tufted, secondary axes along the primary axis. Holdfast discoid-conical, 0.5–1.5 cm across; epilithic. Primary axes compressed, 3–10 mm broad and 2–5 mm thick, straight to slightly flexuous, alternately distichous, with densely branched, retroflex, secondary axes, 0.5–1(4.5) cm apart and 2–5 (–10) cm long, from the face of the axis; secondary axes closely alternately distichous, with dense tufts of tertiary axes and laterals; lower axes usually denuded, with short, scalariform residues. Laterals (Fig. 141G) occasionally simple, usually basally bifurcate or once to a few times alternately branched, ramuli straight to curved; ramuli simple, linear, terete, 1–3 (–5) cm long and 0.7–1.2 mm in diameter. Vesicles present or absent, replacing the basal ramulus of a lateral, petiolate, subspherical to ovoid, mutic, 3–8 (–10) mm long and 3–6 (–9) mm in diameter.

Reproduction: Thalli monoecious. Receptacles simple, linear to slightly curved, terete to slightly 3-sided, slightly clavate (Fig. 141G) with a rounded apex, drying slightly torulose, 1–5 (–7) cm long and (1–) 2–3 (–4) mm in diameter. Conceptacles bisexual, ostioles in 2 or 3 rows; oogonia sessile, ovoid, 100–160 µm long and 70–110 in diameter; antheridia sessile or on branched paraphyses, elongate-ovoid, 20–25 µm long and 8–10 in diameter.

Type from Kent Is, Bass Strait (R. Brown); holotype in BM (ex K), isotypes in BM and E.

Selected specimens: Point Bunbury, Apollo Bay, Vic., low eulittoral (Womersley, 19.v.1980; ADU, A51068-"Marine Algae of southern Australia" No.4196). Flinders, Vic., lower eulittoral (Womersley, 18.i.1967; ADU, A31785). Walkerville, Vic., at low tide level (Sinkora A1492, 22.ii.1972; ADU, A42284). Tidal R., Wilsons Prom., Vic., lowest eulittoral (Pope & Bennett, 16.v.1949; ADU, Al2205). Marshall Bay, Flinders I., Tas., 5–10 m deep (Blackman, 28.i.1978; ADU, A49220). Rocky Cape, N. Tas., lower eulittoral pools (Womersley, 3.x.1986; ADU, A57472-"Marine Algae of southern Australia" No. 196a). Low Head, Tas., at low tide (Perrin, Aug. 1948; ADU, A9317). Rolling Bay, Port Arthur, Tas., upper sublittoral pools (Wollaston & Mitchell, 29.ii.1964; ADU, A27776).

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

Distribution: From Apollo Bay to Wilsons Prom., Vic., islands in Bass Str., and around Tasmania.

New Zealand.

Taxonomic notes: C. torulosa is a distinctive species of the lower eulittoral and uppermost sublittoral (rarely deeper) on south-eastern Australian coasts, characterised by the densely aggregated and thick, smooth, terete receptacles. One specimen in MEL (518) from Encounter Bay, S. Aust., is either a drift specimen from Victoria or mislabelled.


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

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

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

LINDAUER, V.W., CHAPMAN, V.J. & AIKEN, M. (1961). The marine algae of New Zealand. II. Phaeophyceae. Nova Hedwigia 3, 129–350, Plates 57–97.

TURNER, D. (1811). Fuci sive Plantarum Fucorum Generi a Botanicis Ascriptarum 'cones Descriptiones et Historia. Vol. 3, pp. 1–148, Plates 135–196. (London.)

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 140B, 141G.

Figure 140 image

Figure 140   enlarge

Fig. 140. A. Cystophora expansa (ADU, AI3111). B. Cystophora torulosa (ADU, A9317).

Figure 141 image

Figure 141   enlarge

Fig. 141. Receptacles of species of Cystophora. A–C. Cystophora monilifera (ADU, A26869). A. A secondary axis with laterals and vesicles. B. An axis apex with a young, tristichously branched, lateral. C. Receptacles. D–F. Cystophora expansa (D, ADU, A26898; E, ADU, A18658; F, ADU, A23133). D. A secondary axis with laterals. E,F. Laterals with receptacles. G. Cystophora torulosa (ADU, A57472). Receptacles.

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