Electronic Flora of South Australia Species Fact Sheet

Sargassum spinuligerum Sonder 1845: 51; 1848: 161; 1853: 673.

Phylum Phaeophyta – Order Fucales – Family Sargassaceae

Selected citations: J. Agardh 1848: 338; 1889: 117, p1.31 figs 1–7. De Toni 1895: 98. Kützing 1849: 610. Lucas 1936: 68. ?S. pachycarpum J. Agardh 1889: 104, pl. 29 figs 1–4. De Toni 1895: 79. ?S. carpophyllum sensu Sonder 1853: 672.


S. vulgare sensu Sonder 1853: 673.

Thallus (Fig. 166A) light to medium brown, 10–50 cm high, with a simple stipe 2–4 (–7) cm long, terete, 1.5–3 mm in diameter, with rounded branch residues, bearing apically 1–3 primary branches. Holdfast discoid-conical, 5–20 mm across, with a single stipe. Primary branches 10–40 cm long, axes terete to compressed or angular, usually with short scattered spines, radially branched. Laterals (lower) 3.5–7 (–12) cm long, 5–12 mm broad, simple or rarely furcate, lanceolate, entire or usually serrate, costate throughout, with numerous, scattered, more or less prominent, cryptostomata; upper laterals lanceolate, usually serrate, acuminate, 1–5 cm long and 0.5–7 mm broad. Vesicles axillary, petiolate, subspherical to ovoid, 2–7 mm in diameter, mutic.

Reproduction: Thalli monoecious. Receptacles (Fig. 168D) bisexual, simple initially, becoming furcately or laterally branched, in clusters 2–6 (–12) mm long, terete, verrucose, 0.6–1.2 mm broad, with acute to rounded apices, with scattered ostioles. Conceptacles unisexual; oogonia sessile, shortly ovoid, 120–280 µm long and 80–200 µm in diameter, few per conceptacle; antheridia sessile or on short, simple or branched, paraphyses, elongate-ovoid, 16–22 µm long and 6–10 µ in diameter.

Type from W. Aust. (Preiss); in MEL, 1550995 (fertile, right-hand specimen is designated as lectotype).

Selected specimens: Geraldton, W. Aust., 4–5 m deep (Cramer, 30.vii.1967; ADU, A31743). Cottesloe, W. Aust., drift (Smith, Aug. 1944; ADU, A26333). Frenchman Bay, Albany, W. Aust., upper sublittoral (Oberlander, 17.i.1961; ADU, A24717). Nanarup, Albany, W. Aust., drift (Womersley, 30.viii.1979; ADU, A50937-"Marine Algae of southern Australia" No. 295). Elliston, S. Aust., 6 m deep in bay (Shepherd, 7.x.1974; ADU, A45987). Tiparra reef, S. Aust., 5 m deep (Shepherd, 18.x.1972; ADU, A42787). Investigator Strait, S. Aust., 34 m deep, 35°27'S, 137°17'E (Watson, 20.i.1971; ADU, A39204). Marino, S. Aust., drift (Womersley, 29.xi.1959; ADU, A24368). American R. inlet, Kangaroo I., S. Aust., 2–3 m deep near Muston (Kraft, 2.xii.1971; ADU, A41200). Queenscliff, Vic., drift ( Womersley, 12.x.1982; ADU, A55365). Crawfish Rock, Westernport Bay, Vic., 1 m deep (Watson, 25.xi.1972; ADU, A42186).Greens Beach, N. Tas., drift ( Womersley, 9.xi.1982; ADU, A55574).

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

Distribution: From Houtman Abrolhos, W. Aust., around southern Australia to Westernport Bay, Vic. (to Sydney, N.S.W.?-May 1939, p. 203), and the N. coast of Tasmania.

Taxonomic notes: Sargassum pachycarpum is included under S. spinuligerum with some doubt. The type of the former is from Tasmania (Gunn), in Herb. Agardh, LD, 2813. It is probably from Georgetown on the north coast, and represents the eastern extreme of the range of S. spinuligerum. The specimens on the type sheet appear to have rather battered laterals and young, branched, receptacles. S. spinuligerum is not a common species on Victorian coasts, apart from at Crawfish Rock in Westernport Bay, and the plants tend to be more robust, darker in colour, and with less spinous laterals than those from further west.

More detailed studies of the type of S. pachycarpum, and of plants from Victoria and northern Tasmanian coasts, are needed to clarify S. spinuligerum in its eastern range.

S. carpophyllum sensu Sonder (1853, p. 672) from Gulf St Vincent, S. Aust., is based on a poor specimen with young receptacles, in MEL (688540); it is probably S. spinuligerum, as is the sterile specimen Sonder (1853, p. 673) ascribed to S. vulgare, from the same locality (in MEL, 688539).


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

AGARDH, J.G. (1889). Species Sargassorum Australiae. K. Svenska Vetenskapsakad. Handl. 23(3), 1–133, Plates 1–31.

DE TONI, G.B. (1895). Sylloge Algarum omnium hucusque Cognitarum. Vol. 3. Fucoideae. pp. 1–638. (Padua.)

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

LUCAS, A.H.S. (1936). The Seaweeds of South Australia. Part 1. Introduction and the Green and Brown Seaweeds. (Govt Printer: Adelaide.)

MAY, V. (1939). A key to the marine algae of New South Wales. Part. II. Melanophyceae (Phaeophyceae). Proc. Linn. Soc. N.S.W. 64, 191–215.

SONDER, O.W. (1845). Nova Algarum genera et species, quas in itinere ad oras occidentales Novae Hollandiae, collegit L. Preiss. Bot. Ztg 3, 49–57.

SONDER, O.W. (1848). Algae. In Lehmann, C., Plantae Preissianae. Vol. 2, pp. 161–195. (Hamburg.)

SONDER, O.W. (1853). Plantae Muellerianae. Algae. Linnaea 25, 657–709.

The Marine Benthic Flora of Southern Australia Part II complete list of references.

Author: H.B.S. Womersley & L.A. Scott

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 166A, 168D.

Figure 166 image

Figure 166   enlarge

Fig. 166. A. Sargassum spinuligerum (ADU, A45987). B. Sargassum podacanthum (ADU, A24690).

Figure 168 image

Figure 168   enlarge

Fig. 168. Receptacles of species of Sargassum. A. Sargassum lacerifolium (ADU, A55356), triquetrous receptacles. B,C. Sargassum linearifolium (B, ADU, A19095; C, ADU, A34191). B. Young receptacles. C. Mature receptacles. D. Sargassum spinuligerum (ADU, A39204). E. Sargassum podacanthum (ADU, A24690). F. Sargassum distichum (ADU, A24363).

Disclaimer Copyright Disclaimer Email Contact:
State Herbarium of South Australia
Government of South Australia Government of South Australia Department for Environment and Water