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Craspedocarpus ramentaceus (C. Agardh) Min-Thein & Womersley 1976: 117, figs 43, 44, 65, 66A.

Phylum Rhodophyta – Class Florideophyceae – Order Gigartinales – Family Cystocloniaceae

Selected citations: Fuhrer et al. 1981: pl. 33.


Delesseria ramentacea C. Agardh 1822: 177.

Calliblepharis ramentacea (C. Agardh) J. Agardh 1852: 621. Sonder 1853: 689.

Rhodophyllis ramentacea (C. Agardh) J. Agardh 1876: 365. De Toni 1897: 344. Kylin 1932: 43, pl. 18 fig. 43. Lucas 1929b: 49. Lucas & Perrin 1947: 166. May 1965: 409. Reinbold 1897: 49. Shepherd & Womersley 1970: 134.

Rhodymenia fimbriata Hooker & Harvey 1847: 405.

Rhodophyllis fimbriata (Hooker & Harvey) Cotton 1908: 99.

Dictyopsis fimbriata Sonder 1855: 519.

Rhodophyllis dictyopsis Harvey 1863, synop.: xl.

R. goodwiniae J. Agardh 1876: 367. De Toni 1897: 374. Kylin 1932: 43, pl. 17 fig. 41. Lucas 1929a: 17; 1929b: 49. Lucas & Perrin 1947: 167. May 1965: 409. Reinbold 1898: 42. Womersley 1966: 148.

Thallus (Fig. 147A) erect, light to medium red, fading to grey-red, 10–20 cm high, membranous, complanately and irregularly laterally branched, main branches flat, 0.5–2 cm broad and (100–) 150–300 µm thick, tapering to 1–2 mm broad with an irregular fringe of (usually) prominent marginal proliferations usually 2–5 mm long and 0.3–1 mm broad, apices acute and often fimbriate. Holdfast discoid; epilithic or epiphytic. Structure uniaxial, forming an alternately pinnate vein system (Fig. 148A) (visible when stained) with a rhizoidal sheath developing around the axial filament and a thin filamentous medulla, with a cortex 1–2 cells thick, inner cells ovoid and 50–100 µm in diameter, with well-developed rosettes (Fig. 147B) becoming 2–3 (–4) cells broad, cells 4–8 µm across. Rhodoplasts discoid in rosette cells, usually ribbon shaped and crowded in inner cells.

Reproduction: Sexual thalli dioecious; procarpic. Carpogonial branches (Fig. 148B) 3-celled, borne on inner cortical cells near the edges of small, flat marginal proliferations, similar to those of C. blepharicarpus, with the carposporophyte having several central cells and radiating gonimoblast filaments (Fig. 148C) with terminal chains of ovoid carposporangia 18–25 µm in diameter, together with some sterile filaments fusing with pericarp cells and with the inner nutritive tissue. Cystocarps (Fig. 147C) protuberant, on the edge of the marginal proliferations (rarely on main branches), 500–1000 µm across, with a cortical pericarp, non-ostiolate. Spermatangia (Fig. 147D) cut off from rosette cells via initials.

Tetrasporangia (Fig. 148D) scattered in the cortex of marginal proliferations, ovoid, 16–28 µm in diameter, zonately divided.

Type from "Merid. Nov. Holl."; holotype in Herb. Agardh, LD, 27352.

Selected specimens: Safety Bay, W. Aust., drift (Womersley, 18.viii.1979; AD, A50782). Egg I., Isles of St Francis, S. Aust., 32–38 m deep (Shepherd, 11.i.1971; AD, A38110). Waldegrave I., S. Aust., 22 m deep (Shepherd, 23.x.1970; AD, A37406). Investigator Strait, S. Aust., 34 m deep 35°27'S, 137°17E (Watson, 20.i.1971; AD, A39217). Western Channel, Douglas Bank, upper Spencer Gulf, S. Aust., 20 m deep (Johnson, 19.xi.1975; AD, A54885). Fitzgerald Bay, Point Lowly, S. Aust., 14 m deep (Branden, 13.ix.1987; AD, A59336). 5 km W of Port Noarlunga, S. Aust., 21 m deep (Ottaway, 8.xii.1980; AD, A52125). Amphitheatre Rock, West I., S. Aust., 13 m deep (Shepherd, 1.i.1969; AD, A33245). Pennington Bay, Kangaroo I., S. Aust., drift (Womersley, 28.x.1966; AD, A30852). Robe, S. Aust., drift (MM-TheM, 15.xii.1970; AD, A37770). 1.3 km off Cape Northumberland, S. Aust., 15 m deep (Shepherd, 26.x.1977; AD, A55174). San Remo, Vic., drift (Womersley, 26.x.1986; AD, A57886). Walkerville, Vic., drift (Sinkora A2306, 7.iii.1976; AD, A48431). Snowy R. mouth, Vic. (Mueller; MEL, 45025). Low Head, Tas. (Perrin, Jan. 1937; AD, A8954). Lady Bay, Southport, Tas., 7 m deep (Brown & Kenchington, 14.x.1986; AD, A57704).

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

Distribution: Safety Bay, W. Aust., to Snowy R. mouth, Vic., and around Tasmania.

Taxonomic notes: Craspedocarpus ramentaceus is probably the most common species of the genus, found in deep water on open coasts or where there is strong current flow (e.g. the Gulfs in South Australia).


AGARDH, C.A. (1822). Species Algarum. Vol. 1, Part 2, pp. 169–398. (Berling: Lund.)

AGARDH, J.G. (1852). Species Genera et Ordines Algarum. Vol. 2, Part 2, pp. 337–720. (Gleerup: Lund.)

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

COTTON, A.D. (1908). The New Zealand species of Rhodophyllis. Kew Bull. 1908, 97–102.

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

FUHRER, B., CHRISTIANSON, I.G., CLAYTON, M.N. & ALLENDER, B.M. (1981). Seaweeds of Australia. (Reed: Sydney.)

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

HOOKER, J.D. & HARVEY, W.H. (1847). Algae Tasmanicae. Lond. J. Bot. 6, 397–417.

KYLIN, H. (1932). Die Florideenordnung Gigartinales. Lunds Univ. Årsskr. N.F. Avd. 2, 28 (8), 1–88, Plates 1–28.

LUCAS, A.H.S. & PERRIN, F. (1947). The Seaweeds of South Australia. Part 2. The Red Seaweeds. (Govt Printer: Adelaide.)

LUCAS, A.H.S. (1929a). The marine algae of Tasmania. Pap. Proc. R. Soc. Tasm. 1928, 6–27.

LUCAS, A.H.S. (1929b). A census of the marine algae of South Australia. Trans. R. Soc. S. Aust. 53, 45–53.

MAY, V. (1965). A census and key to the species of Rhodophyceae (red algae) recorded from Australia. Contr. N.S.W. natn. Herb. 3, 349–429.

MIN-THEIN, U. & WOMERSLEY, H.B.S. (1976). Studies on southern Australian taxa of Solieriaceae, Rhabdoniaceae and Rhodophyllidaceae (Rhodophyta). Aust. J. Bot. 24, 1–166.

REINBOLD, T. (1897). Die Algen der Lacepede und Guichen Bay und deren naherer Umgebung (Siid Australien), gesammelt von Dr. A. Engelhart-Kingston. Nuova Notarisia 8, 41–62.

REINBOLD, T. (1898). Die Algen der Lacepede und Guichen Bay (Siid Australien) und deren naherer Umgebung, gesammelt von Dr. A. Engelhart-Kingston. II. Nuova Notarisia 9, 33–54.

SHEPHERD, S.A. & WOMERSLEY, H.B.S. (1970). The sublittoral ecology of West Island, South Australia: 1. Environmental features and algal ecology. Trans. R. Soc. S. Aust. 94, 105–137, Plate 1.

SONDER, O.W. (1853). Plantae Muellerianae. Algae. Linnaea 25, 657–709.

SONDER, O.W. (1855). Algae annis 1852 et 1853 collectae. Linnaea 26, 506–528.

WOMERSLEY, H.B.S. (1966). Port Phillip survey, 1957–1963: Algae. Mem. natn. Mus., Vict. No. 27, 133–156.

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.

Illustrations in Womersley Part IIIA, 1994: FIGS 147 A–D, 148 A–D.

Figure 147 image

Figure 147   enlarge

Fig. 147. A–D. Craspedocarpus ramentaceus (A, AD, A57704; B, AD, A59336; C, AD, A37770; D, AD, A30852). A. Habit. B. Surface view of rosettes. C. Cross section of cystocarp with chains of carposporangia. D. Surface view of spermatangial sorus. E, F. Craspedocarpus tenuifolius (E, AD, A9226; F, AD, A38331). E. Habit. F. Surface view of rosettes and vein system.

Figure 148 image

Figure 148   enlarge

Fig. 148. A–D. Craspedocarpus ramentaceus (AD, A37770). A. Surface view showing vein system. B. Longitudinal section of a marginal proliferation with a carpogonial branch. C. Longitudinal section of a young cystocarp with several central cells, inner nutritive tissue and outer gonimoblast branches. D. Longitudinal section of a marginal proliferation with tetrasporangia. E–H. Craspedocarpus tenuifolius (E–G, AD, A38331; H, AD, A29674). E. Surface view of rosettes. F. Longitudinal section of branch with carpogonial branches and hairs. G. Section of cystocarp with several central cells, inner nutritive tissue and outer chains of carposporangia. H. Transverse section of branch with tetrasporangia. [A–G after Min-Thein & Womersley 1976.]

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