Electronic Flora of South Australia Family Fact Sheet

FAMILY SPLACHNIDIACEAE Mitchell & Whitting 1892:11

Phylum Phaeophyta – Order Chordariales

Thallus (sporophyte) erect, 4–20 cm long, coarse and very mucoid, usually much branched with terete branches 4–8 mm thick and tapering basally, multiaxial and haplostichous, with a medulla of separated filaments with anastomoses and mucilage-filled spaces, and a pseudo-parenchymatous cortex with a small-celled epidermis, epilithic or on barnacles. Growth by apical cells of filaments surrounding a clavate, rarely dividing "apical cell" at branch ends, with periclinal divisions of apical and subapical cells of filaments and oblique divisions of apical and epidermal cells. Ends of branches with 6–12-celled hairs from the epidermal cells, and phaeophycean hairs present in conceptacles. Cortical cells with a single stellate phaeoplast.

Reproduction: Reproduction by unilocular sporangia borne in conceptacles scattered over the branches, producing meiospores. Gametophytes forming multiseriate, plurilocular gametangia at the base of branches; zygotes developing into plethysmothalli or sporophytic macrothalli (Price & Ducker 1966).

The Splachnidiaceae is a monospecific family, containing only Splachnidium rugosum.

Life history heteromorphic with a filamentous microthallus, probably gametophytic.


MITCHELL, M.O. & WHITTING, F.G. (1892). On Splachnidium rugosum Grev., the type of a new order of algae. Phycol. Mem., Pt. 1, 1–10, Plates 1–3.

PRICE, I.R. & DUCKER, S.C. (1966). The life history of the brown alga Splachnidium rugosum. Phycologia 5, 261–273.

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
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