Electronic Flora of South Australia Species Fact Sheet

Carpopeltis elata (Harvey) Schmitz 1895: 168.

Phylum Rhodophyta – Class Florideophyceae – Order Gigartinales – Family Halymeniaceae

Selected citations: De Toni 1905: 1605.


Rhodymenia elata Harvey 1855a: 554.

Acropeltis elata (Harvey) Harvey 1860b: pl. 122. Kützing 1869: 13, pl. 35c-e.

Cryptonemia elata (Harvey) J. Agardh 1876: 164.

Thallus (Fig. 48B) dark red-brown, 10–30 (–80) cm high, cartilaginous, complanately and alternately branched, becoming denuded below and thickened, often slightly flexuous, with one to several axes. Holdfast discoid, 2–8 mm across; epilithic. Axes and main branches compressed, 1.5–2 mm broad, 200–400 µm thick, decreasing slightly to 0.5–1 mm broad near the rounded apices, axils rounded. Structure (Fig. 50C) of a compact, pseudoparenchymatous cortex 6–12 cells thick, outer cells 2–4 µm across and slightly elongate in section, inner cells increasing in size to 15–30 µm across, subspherical to ovoid, stellate cells absent. Medulla relatively thin (0.3 to 0.1 of thallus thickness), of densely entwined filaments, refractive ganglionic cells absent. Rhodoplasts discoid, several to many per cell.

Reproduction: Sexual thalli probably monoecious, with sexual organs in sori in branch ends, arising in mid cortex. Carpogonial branch ampullae (Fig. 49D) with a few (1–3) secondary filaments and a 2-celled carpogonial branch. Auxiliary cell ampullae (Fig. 49E) larger, with several long secondary and tertiary filaments, converging above and reaching almost to the surface. Carposporophytes (Fig. 50C) clustered in thickened (400–700 µm) branch ends, 120–160 µm across, with moderate involucres derived from the ampullary filaments and inner cortical cells, and small ostioles. Spermatangia cut off from surface cells, 2–3 µm across, spermatia subspherical, 1–2 µm across.

Tetrasporangia (Fig. 49F) in slightly raised nemathecia near branch ends, among paraphyses 2–3 cells long and 2–3 µm in diameter, 25–30 µm long and 8–12 µm in diameter, cruciately divided.

Type from Rottnest I., W. Aust. (Harvey, Tray. set 233); in TCD.

Selected specimens: Tarkoola Beach, Geraldton, W. Aust., drift (Kraft, 9.x.1990; MELU, A39808). Avalon Beach, Miami, W. Aust., drift (Kraft K6579, 10.iii.1978; MELU, A39788). King Head, Rottnest I., W. Aust., 3–6 m deep (Clarke & Engler, 6.ix.1979; AD, A50795 -"Marine Algae of southern Australia" No. 203). Point Peron, W. Aust., (Kraft, July 1966; MELU, A39787). Penguin I., Safety Bay, W. Aust., 7–8 m deep (Kraft & Huisman, 6.ix.1990; MELU, A39761). Safety Bay, W. Aust., drift (Womersley, 18.viii.1979; AD, A50765). Wyadup, Yallingup, W. Aust. (Royce 619, 3.vi.1950; AD, A15487). N. Twin Peak I., Recherche Arch., W. Aust., drift (Willis, 20.xi.1950; AD, A 15900).

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

Distribution: Geraldton to the Recherche Arch., W. Aust.

Taxonomic notes: The carpogonial branch ampullae are relatively simple, with often only one secondary filament.

Carpopeltis elata (Okamura) Okamura (1909, p. 71, pl. 69) from Japan is distinct from the earlier described Australian species and has been returned to Prionitis by Kawaguchi (1989, p. 210).


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. (1905). Sylloge Algarum omnium hucusque Cognitarum. Vol. 4. Florideae. Sect. 4, pp. 1523–1973. (Padua.)

HARVEY, W.H. (1855a). Some account of the marine botany of the colony of Western Australia. Trans. R. Ir. Acad. 22, 525–566.

HARVEY, W.H. (1860b). Phycologia Australica. Vol. 3, Plates 121–180. (Reeve: London.)

KÜTZING, F.T. (1869). Tabulae Phycologicae. Vol. 19. (Nordhausen.)

KAWAGUCHI, S. (1989). The genus Prionitis (Halymeniaceae, Rhodophyta) in Japan. J. Fac. Sci. Hokkaido Univ., Ser. V, 14, 193–257.

OKAMURA, K. (1909). Icones of Japanese Algae. Vol. 2 (4), pp. 63–76, Plates 66–70.

SCHMITZ, F. (1895). Marine Florideen von Deutsch-Ostafrica. Bot. Jb. 21, 137–177.

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

Author: H.B.S. Womersley & J.A. Lewis

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.

Illustrations in Womersley Part IIIA, 1994: FIGS 48B, 49 D–F, 50C.

Figure 48 image

Figure 48   enlarge

Fig. 48. A. Carpopeltis phyllophora (AD, A38128). Habit. B. Carpopeltis elata (AD, A50795). Habit. C. Carpopeltis spongeaplexus (AD, A52165). Habit. D. Polyopes constrictus (AD, A61546). Habit. E. Polyopes tenuis (AD, A35901). Habit.

Figure 49 image

Figure 49   enlarge

Fig. 49. A–C. Carpopeltis phyllophora (A, B, AD, A52313; C, AD, A46169). A. Carpogonial branch ampulla*. B. Auxiliary cell ampulla. C. Section of cortex with tetrasporangia. D–F. Carpopeltis elata (D, E, AD, A50765; F, MELU, A39787). D. Carpogonial branch ampulla. E. Auxiliary cell ampulla. F. Section of cortex with tetrasporangia (by J.A. Lewis). G–I. Carpopeltis spongeaplexus (G, H, AD, A51083; I, AD, A34162). G. Carpogonial branch ampulla. H. Auxiliary cell ampulla with first gonimoblast cell. I. Section of cortex with tetrasporangia.
* Drawings of ampullae generally show half the ampulla filaments, and the cells are shown with dots inside the wall.

Figure 50 image

Figure 50   enlarge

Fig. 50. A, B. Carpopeltis phyllophora (A, MELU, A38262; B, AD, A46169). A. Transverse section of thallus with cystocarps (Photo: J.A. Lewis). B. Transverse section of thallus with tetrasporangia. C. Carpopeltis elata (AD, A50765). Transverse section of thallus with cystocarps. D, E. Carpopeltis spongeaplexus (D, AD, A51083; E, AD, A34162). D. Transverse section of thallus with cystocarps. E. Transverse section of thallus with tetrasporangia. F, G. Polyopes constrictus (F, AD, A7010; G, AD, A41752). F. Transverse section with auxiliary cell ampullae. G. Longitudinal section of nemathecial thallus with tetrasporangia.

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