Electronic Flora of South Australia Family Fact Sheet

FAMILY SPHACELARIACEAE Decaisne emend. Oltmanns

Phylum Phaeophyta – Order Sphacelariales

Thallus 1 mm to 2 cm long, usually tufted and spreading from the base, epilithic or epiphytic and just penetrating the host. Filaments leptocaulous, ecorticate apart from descending lower rhizoids, with a conspicuous apical cell when growth active; laterals hypacroblastic, irregularly alternately radial or distichous and opposite; phaeophycean hairs usually present.

Reproduction: Reproduction by unilocular meiosporangia and plurilocular gametangia producing isogametes or anisogametes, or by plurilocular neutral sporangia; by propagula in subgenus Propagulifera.

Taxonomic notes: A family of two genera, both represented in southern Australia. Prud'homme van Reine (1982) has given an excellent account of the family Sphacelariaceae, including its structure and reproduction, and of the European species. He reduces the previously recognised five genera to two, placing Battersia Reinke, Disphacella Sauvageau, and Chaetopteris Kützing under Sphacelaria.


PRUD'HOMME VAN REINE, W.F. (1982). A taxonomic revision of the European Sphacelariaceae (Sphacelariales, Phaeophyceae). Leiden Botanical Series, Vol. 6. (Brill: Leiden.)

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


1. Longitudinal walls absent from all cells


1. Longitudinal walls present, at least in most cells


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