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Electronic Flora of South Australia Species Fact Sheet

Sphacelaria spuria Sauvageau 1900: 321 (R51), fig. 13.

Phylum Phaeophyta – Order Sphacelariales – Family Sphacelariaceae

Selected citations: Womersley 1967: 201.

Thallus (Fig. 461) medium brown, 8–12 mm long, densely tufted, epiphytic on Cystophora botryocystis, attached by numerous, irregular, rhizoidal filaments from many segments above the base. Branching pinnate (Fig. 461), with opposite branches, many of limited development with small apical cells but others long and developing as indefinite laterals with typical apical cells; phaeophycean hairs present on lateral ramuli. Axes (Fig. 46J) 40–50 µm in diameter with segments L/B 0.5–1.0, laterals 20–30 (–35) µm in diameter with segments L/B 0.5–1.0 (–1.5); secondary transverse walls moderate to frequent in occurrence (Fig. 46J).

Reproduction: Reproduction by unilocular sporangia (Fig. 46J,K) in rows of 2–5 on short laterals from axes or laterals, adaxial and sympodially developed. Plurilocular sporangia and propagula unknown.

Type from Brighton, Port Phillip, Vic., on Cystophora botryocystis (Harvey); in Herb. Thuret, PC. Fragment in ADU, A 18448.

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

Distribution: Only known from the type collection.

Taxonomic notes: S. spuria, though only known from the type specimen, is a distinctive species, characterised by the secondary transverse walls, the opposite branching and the adaxial rows of unilocular sporangia.


SAUVAGEAU, C. (1900–1914). Remarques sur les Sphacélariacées. This was published as follows: pp. 1–51, J. de Bot. 14 (1900); pp. 51–167, Ibid. 15 (1901); pp. 167–228, Ibid. 16 (1902); pp. 228–332, Ibid. 17 (1903); pp. 332–348, Ibid. 18 (1904); pp. 348–480? (1904) and pp. 481–634 (1914), separately published with the above reprinted, 1914. (Bordeaux.)

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

Illustration in Womersley Part II, 1997: FIG. 46 I–K.

Figure 46 image

Figure 46   enlarge

Fig. 46. A–E. Discosporangium mesarthrocarpum (A–C, ADU, A56425; D,E, ADU, A57406). A. Branching pattern. B. Upper branches with apical cells and phaeoplasts in 3 cells. C. Lower branches with a descending rhizoid and four young sporangia. D. Branch with young plurilocular sporangia. E. Branch with mature but partly empty plurilocular sporangia. F–H. Sphacella subtilissima (ADU, A33698). F. Erect filaments bearing unilocular sporangia, with basal filaments penetrating host. G. Filament with apical and subapical cells. H. Filament with unilocular sporangia and cells containing phaeoplasts and central clustered physodes. I–K. Sphacelaria spuria (ADU, A18448). I. Thallus showing opposite branching. J. Upper axis with opposite laterals and unilocular sporangia. K. Branch with unilocular sporangia.

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