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Electronic Flora of South Australia Genus Fact Sheet

Genus CIRRULICARPUS Tokida & Masaki 1956: 70

Phylum Rhodophyta – Class Florideophyceae – Order Gigartinales – Family Kallymeniaceae

Thallus flat, usually cartilaginous, subdichotomously to irregularly branched. Structure. Medulla fairly densely filamentous, with stellate cells, and a cortex of larger inner and smaller outer cells.

Reproduction: Carpogonial branch systems mono- or polycarpogonial with elongate, simple or lobed supporting and first cells of the carpogonial branch; fusion cell present. Auxiliary cell systems similar to carpogonial branch systems but usually without mature carpogonial branches. Carposporophyte consisting of numerous groups of carposporangia intermixed with slender gonimoblast filaments; cystocarps often clustered on the thallus, sunken.

Tetrasporangia with oblique divisions, scattered over the thallus in the outer cortex, terminal or intercalary.

Type species: C. gmelini (Grunow) Tokida & Masaki 1956: 70.

Taxonomic notes: A genus of five species. Cirrulicarpus gmelini (Grunow) Tokida & Masaki, C. carolinensis Hansen, C. (?) laingii (J. Agardh) Parkinson and the two species below are similar to Kallymenia in thallus structure and most reproductive features but differ in their much-divided thallus. Most species (see, however, Codomier 1971) ascribed to Kallymenia are foliose, with no more than marginal lobes, whereas the species of Cirrulicarpus are much branched and usually cartilaginous. The type species of Cirrulicarpus and C. nanus have tetrasporangia with oblique, intersecting cross walls, and this may be a useful character to separate the genus from Kallymenia (though in K. tasmanica they may be irregularly divided). C. gmelini also has intercalary tetrasporangia, bearing outer cortical cells, but in C. nanus they appear to be terminal.


CODOMIER, L. (1971). Recherches sur les Kallymenia (Cryptonemiales, Kallymeniacées). I. Les espèces Méditerranéennes. Vie Milieu 22, Sér. A, 1–54.

TOKIDA, J. & MASAKI, T. (1956). Studies on the reproductive organs of red algae. H. On Erythrophyllum gmelini (Grun.)Yendo. Bull. Fac. Fish. Hokkaido Univ. 7, 63–71.

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 cartilaginous, branches 0.5–1 cm broad

C. nanus

1. Thallus soft, not cartilaginous, branches mostly 1–1.5 cm broad

C. polycoelioides

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