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Electronic Flora of South Australia Species Fact Sheet

Ectocarpus fasciculatus Harvey 1841: 40; 1850, pl. 273.

Phylum Phaeophyta – Order Ectocarpales

Selected citations: Cardinal 1964: 27, fig. 13. Hamel 1931: 25, fig. 5. Rosenvinge & Lund 1941: 35, fig. 12. Russell 1966: 268, figs 1,2. Womersley 1967: 191.

Thallus (Fig. 2E) medium to dark brown, usually 0.5–3 cm long, usually epiphytic on large brown algae with numerous closely associated basal filaments penetrating the host, together with descending rhizoids from the lower cells. Main filaments well developed (Fig. 5F,G), usually relatively bare below and in their upper part bearing fasciculate, lateral, branch systems (Fig. 5F,G) with mainly adaxial branching, branchlets often curved and tapering into colourless false hairs (Fig. 5G). Lower filaments 25–40 µm in diameter, cells L/B (1–) 1.5–2; branchlets 12–22 µm in diameter, cells L/B 1–2 (–3); false hairs 8–10 µm in diameter. Growth diffuse. Cells with several elongate, usually branched, relatively broad phaeoplasts, each with several pyrenoids (Fig. 5H).

Reproduction: Reproduction by pedicellate plurilocular sporangia (Fig. 5H) usually arranged in series of 2–4 adaxially on the laterals or more scattered on upper main filaments, elongate-conical, 60–140 µm long and (16–) 20–40 (–45) µm in diameter, often present also on short basal filaments. Unilocular sporangia not seen in Australian material.

Type from Britain; in TCD?

Selected specimens: Wedge I., S. Aust., on Myriodesma harveyanum, sublittoral fringe (Baldock, 29.xii.1963; ADU, A27263). Aldinga, S. Aust., on Ecklonia, upper sublittoral pools (Wollaston, 1.xi.1967; ADU,A32006). Apollo Bay, Vic., on Scytosiphon, low eulittoral pools (Womersley, 23.i.1967; ADU, A31187). Bridgewater Bay, Vic., on Ecklonia, upper sublittoral (Womersley, 25.i.1967; ADU, A31777). Point Lonsdale, Vic., on Macrocystis angustifolia, drift (Womersley, 12.v.1982; ADU, A55516-"Marine Algae of southern Australia" No. 246). Tesselated Pavement, Eaglehawk Neck, Tas., on Polycerea, drift (Gordon, 18.i.1966; ADU, A30111).

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

Distribution: Widespread in temperate and colder waters.

In southern Australia, from Wedge I., S. Aust., to Apollo Bay, Vic., and Eaglehawk Neck, Tas., epiphytic on the larger brown algae. Probably more widespread on south-eastern Australian coasts.


CARDINAL, A. (1964). Étude sur les Ectocarpacees de la Manche. Nova Hedwigia 15, 1–86, Figs. 1–41.

HAMEL, G. (1931). Phéophycées de France. Fasc. I, pp. 1–80. (Paris.)

ROSENVINGE, L.K. & LUND, S. (1941). The marine algae of Denmark. Vol. II. Phaeophyceae. I. Ectocarpaceae and Acinetosporaceae. K. Dan. Vidensk. Selsk. Biol. Skr. 1(4), 1–79.

RUSSELL, G. (1966). The genus Ectocarpus in Britain. I. The attached forms. J. mar. biol. Ass. U.K. 46, 267–294.

WOMERSLEY, H.B.S. (1967). A critical survey of the marine algae of southern Australia. II. Phaeophyta. Aust. J. Bot. 15, 189–270.

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 2E, 5 F–H.

Figure 2 image

Figure 2   enlarge

Fig. 2. A. Asteronema ferruginea on Hormosira (ADU, A52853). B. Bachelotia antillarum (ADU, A49210). C. Kuckuckia spinosa on Amphibolis (ADU, A39457). D. Ectocarpus siliculosus (ADU, A54422). E. Ectocarpus fasciculatus on Ecklonia (ADU, A32006).

Figure 5 image

Figure 5   enlarge

Fig. 5. A–E. Ectocarpus siliculosus (A–C, ADU, A54422; D, ADU, A54169; E, ADU, A30020). A. Branching pattern. B. Branches with false hairs and plurilocular sporangia. C. Cells and plurilocular sporangia. D. Branch with plurilocular and unilocular sporangia. E. Plurilocular sporangia, one with a slight hair. F–H. Ectocarpus fasciculatus (ADU, A31777). F. Branching pattern. G. Branch with laterals and plurilocular sporangia. H. Cells and plurilocular sporangia.

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