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Electronic Flora of South Australia Species Fact Sheet

Giffordia sandriana (Zanardini in Kützing) Hamel 1939b: xiv.

Phylum Phaeophyta – Order Ectocarpales

Selected citations: Cardinal 1964: 37, fig. 18. Clayton 1974: 782, figs 23, 24. King & Ducker 1971: 116. Kornmann & Sahling 1977: 109, fig. 56. Tanaka & Chihara 1977: 245, fig. 1. Womersley 1967: 193.


Ectocarpus sandrianus Zanardini in Kützing 1849: 451. Rosenvinge & Lund 1941: 44, fig. 18.

Thallus (Figs 10C, 12A) medium brown to dark greenish brown, densely tufted, 0.5–6 (–20) cm long, with several axes attached by descending rhizoids (which often surround the axis) from few to many cells above the base (Fig. 12A), much branched spirally below and commonly with unilateral and adaxial branching above; usually epiphytic. Filaments (Fig. 12A,B) tapering gradually, 35–55 µm in diameter below (narrower near the base) with cells L/B (0.5–) 1–1.5, mid branches 20–30 µ in diameter with cells L/B (0.5–) 0.8–1.2, lesser branches 12–18 µm in diameter with cells L/B 1–1.5 (–2), tapering to short terminal cells or into slight false hairs 4–8 um in diameter. Growth from prominent meristems at the base of each branch and by scattered intercalary divisions. Cells (Fig. 12C) with numerous discoid phaeoplasts each with a pyrenoid, and physodes.

Reproduction: Plurilocular sporangia (Fig. 12B,C) sessile, in unilateral and adaxial rows of several [3–8(-1 2)] sporangia on consecutive cells of the branch or with odd cells either without a sporangium or with a branchlet; sporangia elongate-ovoid to conical and sub-basally or centrally broadest and tapering to a rounded apex, straight to slightly reflexed upwards, 30–85 µm long and 18–45 µm in diameter when mature, L/B (2–) 2.5–3.5 (–4). Unilocular sporangia (Fig. 12D) on plants bearing plurilocular sporangia, sessile, scattered or in rows, ovoid, 30–55 µm long and 20–40 µm in diameter.

Type from the Adriatic Sea; in Museo Civico Correr, Venice, Italy.

Selected specimens: Off St Kilda, S. Aust., on Posidonia australis, 1.5 m below low tide (S. Lewis, 23.viii.1972; ADU, A42716). American R. inlet, Kangaroo I., S. Aust., 4–6 m deep (Womersley, 22.viii.1963; ADU, A26975). Robe, S. Aust., drift on Dictyopteris muelleri (Womersley, 16.v.1965; ADU, A29269). Kirk Point, Port Phillip, Vic. (Clayton, 6.ix.1971; ADU, A43075).

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

Distribution: Widespread in temperate seas.

In southern Australia, from St _Kilda and American R. inlet, Kangaroo I., S. Aust. to Kilcare, N.S.W. Apparently not known from Tasmania.

Taxonomic notes: G. sandriana is distinguished by the plurilocular sporangia, often with occasional branches, arising from every cell in a series of 3–8 or even more along a branch. It is one of the less common species of Giffordia on southern Australian coasts.


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

CLAYTON, M.N. (1974). Studies on the development, life history and taxonomy of the Ectocarpales (Phaeophyta) in southern Australia. Aust. J. Bot. 22, 743–813.

HAMEL, G. (1939b). Phéophycées de France. Fasc. V, pp. 337–432, i-xlvii. (Paris.)

KÜTZING, F.T. (1849). Species Algarum. (Leipzig.)

KING, R.J. & DUCKER, S. (1971). In King, R.J., Black, J.H. & Ducker, S. Intertidal ecology of Port Phillip Bay, with systematic lists of plants and animals. 3. Flora of the intertidal region, pp. 112–128. Mem. Nat. Mus. Vic. 32, 93–128.

KORNMANN, P. & SAHLING, P.-H. (1977). Meeresalgen von Helgoland. Benthische Braun und Rotalgen. Helgol. wiss. Meeresunters. 29, 1–292.

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.

TANAKA, J. & CHIHARA, M. (1977). Notes on algae in Japan and adjacent waters (1). J. Jap. Bot. 52, 245–253.

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 10C, 12 A–D.

Figure 10 image

Figure 10   enlarge

Fig. 10. A. Acinetospora crinita (ADU, A54824). B. Giffordia sordida (ADU, A55332). C. Giffordia sandriana on Posidonia (ADU, A42716). D. Giffordia mitchelliae on Cystophora intermedia (ADU, A46789). E. Giffordia granulosa (ADU, A39491).

Figure 12 image

Figure 12   enlarge

Fig. 12. A–D. Giffordia sandriana (A,C, ADU, A29269: B,D, ADU, A42716). A. Habit. B. Lateral with an adaxial series of plurilocular sporangia and young branchlets. C. Plurilocular sporangia in interrupted series. D. Unilocular sporangia. E–G. Giffordia mitchelliae (E,F, ADU, A31945; G, ADU, A21044). E. Habit, with plurilocular sporangia. F. Plurilocular sporangia. G. Unilocular and plurilocular sporangia.

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