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Electronic Flora of South Australia Species Fact Sheet

Sargassum verruculosum (Mertens) C. Agardh 1820: 26.

Phylum Phaeophyta – Order Fucales – Family Sargassaceae

Selected citations: J. Agardh 1872: 61; 1889: 53, pl. 18 figs 1–6. Grunow 1915: 336. Lindauer et al. 1961: 314, pl. 78, right. Lucas 1936: 64. Womersley 1954b: 350, fig. 1 i,j, pl. 5.


Fucus verruculosus Mertens 1819: 186, pl. 15.

Sargassum trichophyllum J. Agardh 1889: 52, pl. 17 figs 10–12. Lucas 1936: 64.

Sargassum tasmanicum Sonder 1853: 673. J. Agardh 1889: 126. Grunow 1916: 146

Thallus (Fig. 159B) medium to dark brown, 10–100 cm long, with stipes 1–6 cm long, 2–3 mm in diameter, terete but with stubby to prominent, radial, branch residues, bearing apically and radially 2–6 primary branches. Holdfast discoid-conical, becoming divided or hapteroid, 2–20 mm across and 2–10 mm high, with a single stipe; epilithic. Primary branches 10–90 cm long, below with terete to slightly compressed axes 1–1.5 mm broad, bearing from their margins branched, retroflex, laterals, becoming denuded below and leaving a bare, usually flexuous, axis on mature branches. Laterals (lower) irregularly pinnate, 3–5 cm long with

(ADU. A18826).

branches 1–3 (–4) mm broad; upper laterals densely branched, from rigidly subdichotomous to laxly pinnate when older, filiform, (1–) 2–3 cm long, usually with prominent cryptostomata. Vesicles petiolate, subspherical, 4–8(40) mm in diameter, mutic or with a short, slender, mucro (occasionally to 1 cm long).

Reproduction: Thalli apparently dioecious. Receptacles (Fig. 160F) unisexual, clustered on upper ramuli, shortly petiolate, simple to occasionally branched, lanceolate, slightly torulose, 3–5 mm long and 400–800 µm in diameter, with scattered ostioles. Conceptacles unisexual; oogonia sessile, ovoid to subspherical, 80–100 µm long and 55–80 µm in diameter, few per conceptacle; antheridia sessile or on short, branched, paraphyses, ovoid, 16–25 µm long and 8–12 µm in diameter.

Type from W. Aust. (probably King George Sound or Esperance); in PC.

Selected specimens: Point D'Entrecasteaux (E. of Cape Leeuwin), W. Aust., drift (Smith, 20.iii.1946; ADU, A4535). St Francis I., Isles of St Francis, S. Aust., 10–13 m deep (Shepherd, 6.i.1971; ADU, A37972). Wedge I., S. Aust., 8–10 m deep (Baldock, 29.xii.1963; ADU, A27256). 3 km E. of Royston Head, southern Yorke Pen., S. Aust., 7–13 m deep (Shepherd, 14.iv.1963; ADU, A26554). Dubious Rock, West I., S. Aust., 13 m deep (Shepherd, 3.i.1966; ADU, A30348). Pennington Bay, Kangaroo I., S. Aust., drift ( Womersley, 23.viii.1950; ADU, A13398). Robe, S. Aust., reef pools (Womersley, 18.viii.1957; ADU, A21176). Bridgewater Bay, Vic., drift (Beauglehole, 29.v.1949; ADU, Al2098). St Leonards, Port Phillip, Vic., 1–3 m deep ( Womersley, 9.viii.1959; ADU, A23093). Sorrento, Vic., in reef pools, ocean beach (Womersley, 2.vi.1953; ADU, A18826). Low Head, Tas., 4–16 m deep (Perrin, Aug. 1948; ADU, A9329). Port Arthur, Tas., drift (Levring, 30.i.1948; ADU, A56149). Quiet Corner, Adventure Bay, Bruny I., Tas., 10 m deep (Shepherd, 16.ii.1972; ADU, A41557).

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

Distribution: From S.W. Western Aust. around southern Australia to Maroubra, N.S.W. (May 1939, p. 202), and around Tasmania.

New Zealand.

Taxonomic notes: Sargassum verruculosum is characterised by its terete stipes (often with prominent branch residues), basally denuded and flexuous primary branch axes, lower retroflex laterals, usually prominent cryptostomata, and relatively large vesicles.

S. tasmanicum Sonder from Tasmania (holotype in MEL, 687517) is almost certainly only juvenile S. verruculosum.


AGARDH, C.A. (1820). Species Algarum. Vol. 1, Part 1, Fucoideae, pp. 1–168. (Lund.)

AGARDH, J.G. (1872). Till algernes systematik. Ada Univ. lund. 9(8), 1–71.

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

GRUNOW, A. (1915). Additamenta ad cognitionem Sargassorum. Verh. Zool. -Bot. Wien 65, 329–448.

GRUNOW, A. (1916). Additamenta ad cognitionem Sargassorum. Verh. Zool. -Bot. Gesell. Wien 66, 136–185.

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.

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.

MERTENS, M. (1819). Sur plusieurs espêces de Fucus, nouvelles ou peu connues, observées dans la collection du Muséum. Mem. Mus. Natl Hist. Nat., Paris 5, 172–90, Plates 13–15.

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

WOMERSLEY, H.B.S. (1954b). Australian species of Sargassum, subgenus Phyllotrichia. Aust. J. Bot. 2, 337–354, Plates 1–5.

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 159B, 160F.

Figure 159 image

Figure 159   enlarge

Fig. 159. A. Sargassum varians (ADU, A38648). B. Sargassum verruculosum (ADU, A26554).

Figure 160 image

Figure 160   enlarge

Fig. 160. Receptacles of species of Sargassum subgenus Phyllotrichia. A. Sargassum decurrens (ADU. A53922). B. Sargassum heteromorphum (ADU, A23954). C. Sargassum decipiens (ADU, A57476). D. Sargassum sonderi (ADU, A9314). E. Sargassum varians (ADU, A55724). F. Sargassum verruculosum (ADU. A18826).

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