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Ahnfeltiopsis fastigiata Lewis & Womersley, nom. nov.

Phylum Rhodophyta – Class Florideophyceae – Order Gigartinales – Family Phyllophoraceae


Gymnogongrus fastigiatus Harvey 1860a: 322; 1863: pl. 290. J. Agardh 1876: 209. De Toni 1897: 242.

Thallus (Fig. 84A) dark red-brown, tufted, 1–4 cm high, cartilaginous, subdichotomously branched at intervals of 2–10 mm, sometimes irregularly branched or with frequent laterals (following damage?), branches terete (to slightly compressed), (150–) 200–400 (–700) µm broad, tapering only slightly to rounded apices. Holdfast thin, crustose, 1–4 mm across, with several to numerous fronds; epilithic. Structure multiaxial, with ovoid cells throughout, cortical cells in anticlinal branched chains of 3–8 cells, 3–5 µm in diameter, cells L/D 1–2; medullary cells 20–40 µm in diameter and L/D 3–6, often tiered in longitudinal section and with numerous secondary pit-connections. Rhodoplasts discoid, few in cortical cells, several in medullary cells.

Reproduction: Carpogonial branches unknown. Cystocarps (Fig. 84B) in the upper branches, swollen, 250–650 µm across, the carposporophyte lying in the medulla and consisting of numerous separated, stellate, gonimoblast cells cutting off around them short chains or clusters of ovoid carposporangia 4–6 µm in diameter; pericarp absent; ostiole slight.

Spermatangia and tetrasporangia unknown.

Type from (Great) Foresters R., N coast Tas. (Gunn); lectotype in Herb. Harvey, TCD.

Selected specimens: Point Lonsdale, Vic., intertidal pool (Lewis, 14.viii.1983; MELU, A39459). Walkerville, Vic., low intertidal (Kraft, 18.x.1975; MELU, A39458) and just below low tide level (Sinkora A2331, 12.iii.1976; AD, A48387). Leonards Bay, Wilsons Prom., Vic., in rock pool (Ducker, 3.xii.1963; MELU, A1101). Mouth of Arthur R., W coast, Tas., upper sublittoral on reef (Wollaston & Mitchell, 24.ii.1964; AD, A27731).

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

Distribution: Point Lonsdale to Wilsons Prom., Vic., and the N coast of Tasmania.

Taxonomic notes: Although tetrasporangial plants are unknown, the vegetative structure and carposporophyte are similar to other species assigned to Ahnfeltiopsis. In habit, A. fastigiata is similar to Gymnogongrus griffithsiae but is distinct reproductively and consistently more terete than the latter.

Gymnogongrus fastigiatus Harvey (1860a, p. 322) is a later homonym of Gymnogongrus fastigiatus (Endlicher) Ruprecht (1850, p. 326). Since illegitimate names cannot serve as basionyms, Ahnfeltiopsis fastigiata Lewis & Womersley is proposed as a new name.


AGARDH, J.G. (1876). Species Genera et Ordines Algarum. Vol. 3, Part 1 - Epicrisis systematis Floridearum, pp. i-vii, 1–724. (Weigel: Leipzig.)

DE TONI, G.B. (1897). Sylloge Algarum omnium hucusque Cognitarum. Vol. 4. Florideae. Sect. 1, pp. 1–388. (Padua.)

HARVEY, W.H. (1860a). Algae. In Hooker, J.D., The Botany of the Antarctic Voyage. 111. Flora Tasmaniae. Vol. II, pp. 321–343, Plates 185–196.

HARVEY, W.H. (1863). Phycologia Australica. Vol. 5, Plates 241–300, synop., pp. i-lxxiii. (Reeve: London.)

RUPRECHT, F.J. (1850). Algae ochotensis. pp. 1–243, 9 Plates. [Author-issued preprint of Rupricht (1851). Tange des Ochotskischen Meeres. In von Middendorff, A.T. (Ed.), Reise in den aüssersten Norden und Osten Siberiens während der Jahre 1843 und 1844. Botanik, Vol. 1(2), pp. 191–435, 10 Plates. (St Petersburg.)].

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

Author: J.A. Lewis & H.B.S. Womersley

Publication: Womersley, H.B.S. (14 January, 1994)
The Marine Benthic Flora of Southern Australia
Rhodophyta. Part IIIA, Bangiophyceae and Florideophyceae (to Gigartinales)
Reproduced with permission from The Marine Benthic Flora of Southern Australia Part IIIA 1994, by H.B.S. Womersley. Australian Biological Resources Study, Canberra. Copyright Commonwealth of Australia.

Illustration in Womersley Part IIIA, 1994: FIG. 84A, B.

Figure 84 image

Figure 84   enlarge

Fig. 84. A, B. Ahnfeltiopsis fastigiate (A, MELU, A39459; B, AD, A27731). A. Habit. B. Transverse section of cystocarp. C–F. Ahnfeltiopsis humilis (C, E, F, AD, A61516; D, AD, A21294). C. Habit, mature plants. D. Habit of larger, much branched, plant. E. Transverse section of cystocarp. F. Transverse section of thallus with surface pustule. G, H. Gymnogongrus griffithsiae (AD, A20336). G. Habit. H. Longitudinal section of thallus with tetrasporoblast pustules.

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