Electronic Flora of South Australia Species Fact Sheet

Punctaria latifolia Greville 1830: 52.

Phylum Phaeophyta – Order Dictyosiphonales – Family Punctariaceae

Selected citations: Clayton & Ducker 1970: 293, figs 1–10. Hamel 1937: 211, fig. 44(1,2). Harvey 1846: pl. 8. Lindauer et al. 1961: 254, fig. 64(1–4). Womersley 1967: 246.

Thallus (Fig. 114A) medium brown, complanate, simple, ovate to ligulate, usually 5–20 (–30) cm long and (1–) 2–6 cm broad, margin smooth to undulate, with a short, slender, stipe and cuneate base, arising from a small, discoid, rhizoidal holdfast (0.5–) 1–2 (–3) mm across; epiphytic (usually on Posidonia or Heterozostera) or epilithic. Growth diffuse. Structure (2–) 4–6 cells and 80–120 µm thick (Fig. 115D), with a medulla 2–4 cells thick with few phaeoplasts, and a monostromatic cortex of isodiametric cells mostly of similar size to the medullary cells, 15–25 µm across in surface view (Fig. 115A), each with several discoid to irregularly shaped phaeoplasts each with a pyrenoid. Phaeophycean hairs (Fig. 115C,D) scattered, single or in small groups, 7–10 µm in diameter.

Microthallus filamentous, much branched, clumped, producing macrothalli directly.

Reproduction: Plurilocular and unilocular sporangia (Fig. 115C,D) scattered (or the former clustered), developed from cortical cells, with plants bearing both types or only plurilocular sporangia. Plurilocular sporangia present throughout the year, conical and projecting above the thallus surface (Fig. 115D), 20–40 µm across in surface view with 8–24 locules in 6–10 tiers, locules 2–4 µm across. Unilocular sporangia present May to December, single, scattered, ovoid, 30–70 µm in diameter.

Microthalli with plurilocular sporangia in erect filaments, with the zooids producing macrothalli or further microthalli.

Type from Sidmouth, England (Griffiths); in E.

Selected specimens: Aldinga, S. Aust., upper sublittoral pools on Heterozostera (Gordon, 14.x.1968; ADU, A32867-"Marine Algae of southern Australia" No. 51). Port MacDonnell, S. Aust., uppermost sublittoral on Heterozostera (Womersley, 17.v.1983; ADU, A54509-"Marine Algae of southern Australia" No. 51a). Brighton, Port Phillip, Vic. (Harvey, Alg. Aust. Exsicc. 64F, in NSW). Mornington, Vic. (Clayton, Aug. 1969-Clayton & Ducker 1970, p. 293). Low Head, Tas. (Perrin, May 1940; ADU, A47128). Louisville, Prosser Bay, Tas., on Heterozostera (Olsen, 6.ix.1967; ADU, A31966).

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

Distribution: Widely distributed in cooler temperate waters.

In southern Australia, from Aldinga, S. Aust. to Port Phillip, Vic. and the north and east coasts of Tasmania.

Taxonomic notes: P. latifolia is probably more widespread, in sheltered situations, than indicated by the above records.


CLAYTON, M.N. & DUCKER, S.C. (1970). The life history of Punctaria latifolia Greville (Phaeophyta) in southern Australia. Aust. J. Bot. 18, 293–300.

GREVILLE, R.K. (1830). Algae Britannicae. (Edinburgh.)

HAMEL, G. (1937). Phéophycées de France. Fasc. III, pp. 177–240. (Paris.)

HARVEY, W.H. (1846). Phycologia Britannica. Plates 1–72. (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.

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 114A, 115C,D.

Figure 114 image

Figure 114   enlarge

Fig. 114. A. Punctaria latifolia (ADU, A54509). B. Asperococcus compressus (ADU, A57205). C. Asperococcus bullosus (ADU, A56299). D. Asperococcus fistulosus (ADU, A57146).

Figure 115 image

Figure 115   enlarge

Fig. 115. A,B. Hecatonema maculans (ADU, A36893). A. Part of thallus with prostrate and erect filaments, longitudinal intercalary divisions, phaeophycean hairs, and plurilocular sporangia. B. Cells of an erect filament with phaeoplasts. C,D. Punctaria latifolia (ADU, A32867). C. Surface view of thallus with a hair tuft (lower right), and plurilocular and unilocular sporangia. D. Transverse section of thallus with phaeophycean hairs and plurilocular and (one) unilocular sporangia. E,F. Asperococcus compressus (ADU, A57205). E. Surface view of thallus and a sorus, with phaeophycean hairs, paraphyses and unilocular sporangia. F. Transverse section of thallus showing cavity crossed by filaments, and a sorus with phaeophycean hairs, paraphyses and unilocular sporangia.

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