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Electronic Flora of South Australia Genus Fact Sheet

Genus BANGIA Lyngbye 1819: 82

Phylum Rhodophyta – Class Bangiophyceae – Order Bangiales – Family Bangiaceae

Thallus filamentous, erect but flaccid, simple, cylindrical to irregularly constricted, at first uniseriate but with the cells becoming longitudinally and radially divided, with a hollow centre in the older filaments, attached by descending rhizoids from supra-basal cells; cell divisions diffuse. Rhodoplasts single, axial, stellate, with a central pyrenoid.

Reproduction: Reproduction by monospores liberated from whole vegetative cells. Sexual reproduction by dioecious (usually) or monoecious filaments, by spermatia formed in packets of 64–256, and vegetative cells differentiating into carpogonia with or without a short prototrichogyne, and the zygote dividing to form 4–16 carposporangia. Conchocelis-phase reproducing by monospores and by conchospores from fertile cell rows (Conway & Cole 1977, p. 205, figs 4,11,12,17,18).

Conchocelis-phase filamentous, branched, with pit-connections, cells with parietal rhodoplasts without pyrenoids. Life history heteromorphic, with macroscopic gametophytes and microscopic filamentous sporophytes (conchocelis-phase).

Lectotype species: B. fuscopurpurea (Dillwyn) Lyngbye 1819: 83 [= B. atropurpurea (Roth) C. Agardhl.

Taxonomic notes: The life history of Bangia (based on B. fuscopurpurea) is discussed by Richardson & Dixon (1968), Cole (1972) and Cole et al. (1983), who emphasise the importance of day length in determining the reproductive phase. Numerous species of Bangia have been described (De Toni 1897, pp. 7–13), some of which are synonyms of B. atropurpurea; others are doubtfully distinct, but specific concepts in the genus are far from clear.


COLE, K. (1972). Observations on the life history of Bangia fuscopurpurea. Mem. Soc. bot. Fr. 1972, 231–236.

COLE, K.M., HYMES, B.J. & SHEATH, R.G. (1983). Karyotypes and reproductive seasonality of the genus Bangia (Rhodophyta) in British Columbia, Canada. J. Phycol. 19, 136–145.

CONWAY, E. & COLE, K. (1977). Studies in the Bangiaceae: structure and reproduction of the conchocelis of Porphyra and Bangia in culture (Bangiales, Rhodophyceae). Phycologia 16, 205–216.

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

LYNGBYE, H.CH. (1819). Tentamen Hydrophytologiae Danicae. (Copenhagen.)

RICHARDSON, W.N. & DIXON, P.S. (1968). Life history of Bangia fuscopurpurea (Dillw.)Lyngb. in culture. Nature 218, 496–497.

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

Author: 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.


1. Thallus 1–10 cm long, usually on mid to upper eulittoral rock; uniseriate part with cells usually L/D 0.5–1.5; spermatangia formed in square-surfaced packets

B. atropurpurea subsp. atropurpurea

1. Thallus 1–3 cm long, attached to mussels in the lower eulittoral; uniseriate part with cells L/D 0.3–0.15 except for close to the base; spermatangia formed in narrow, elongate blocks across the filament

B. atropurpurea subsp. brevisegmenta

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