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Electronic Flora of South Australia Genus Fact Sheet

Genus GRATELOUPIA C. Agardh 1822: 221, nom. cons. prop.

Phylum Rhodophyta – Class Florideophyceae – Order Gigartinales – Family Halymeniaceae

Thallus usually much branched complanately to irregularly, or foliose and variously divided, usually mucilaginous when young. Structure multiaxial, with a relatively thin cortex of small outer cells and larger inner cells, becoming stellate adjacent to the medulla; medulla lax, of relatively sparse, irregularly orientated filaments; refractive ganglionic cells absent, some cells slightly refractive.

Life history triphasic with isomorphic gametophytes and tetrasporophytes. Reproduction. Sexual thalli monoecious or dioecious. Carpogonial branch ampullae simple, with few secondary filaments, converging above, and a 2-celled carpogonial branch.

Lectotype species: G. filicina (Lamouroux) C. Agardh 1822: 222.

Taxonomic notes: Auxiliary cell ampullae with a few, moderately long, secondary filaments, converging above. Carposporophyte compact, with the basal auxiliary cell remaining prominent or fusing with other cells, with a moderate involucre derived from medullary as well as ampullary filaments, and a small ostiole. Spermatangia derived from the outer cortical cells, scattered or in small sori.

Tetrasporangia scattered, in the outer cortex, cruciately divided.

The authorship of Grateloupia and typification of G. filicina have been discussed by several authors, notably Dixon (1959, p. 348), Silva (1980, p. 133) and Parkinson (1980b; 1981, p. 315).

The type species was described in detail by Kylin (1930, p.19, figs 9–21) and the genus was discussed by Chiang (1970, p. 71) who emphasised the simple auxiliary cell ampullae. Grateloupia differs from Halymenia in that the lax medulla is composed of irregularly orientated (not transverse) filaments, and the auxiliary cell ampullae are relatively simple and conical, with the filaments converging above in contrast to the open, spreading ones of Halymenia. G. intestinalis, G. tasmanica and G. ovata (see below) do, however, differ in having more elaborate auxiliary cell ampullae and involucres.

Australian species incorrectly referred to Grateloupia include:

G. gigartinoides Sonder (1855, p. 517) [= Rhodoglossum gigartinoides (Sonder) Edyvane & Womersley (1993, p. 238)].

G.? dubia Zanardini (1874, p. 503) = Solieria robusta (Greville) Kylin.

G. australis J. Agardh ex Gepp & Gepp (1906, p. 260) [lectotype from Capel Sound, Port Phillip, Vic. (Wilson, 26.xii.1885; in BM)] = Kallymenia tasmanica Harvey; other taxa are included under G. australis in BM, MEL and LD.


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

CHIANG, Y.-M. (1970). Morphological studies of red algae of the family Cryptonemiaceae. Univ. Calif Pubis Bot. 58, 1–83, Plates 1–10.

DIXON, P.S. (1959). Taxonomic and nomenclatural notes on the Florideae, I. Bot. Notiser 112, 339–352.

EDYVANE, K.S. & WOMERSLEY, H.B.S. (1993). Morphology and taxonomy of Rhodoglossum gigartinoides (Sonder) comb. nov. (Gigartinaceae, Rhodophyta) from Australia and New Zealand. Phycologia 32, 237–250.

GEPP, A. & GEPP, E.S. (1906). Some marine algae from New South Wales. J. Bot., Lond. 1906, 249–261, Plate 481.

KYLIN, H. (1930). über die entwicklungsgeschichte der Florideen. Lunds Univ. Årsskr. N.F. Avd. 2, 26 (6), 1–104.

PARKINSON, P.G. (1980b). Grateloupia. (Pettifogging Press: Auckland.)

PARKINSON, P.G. (1981). Remarks on some algal generic names recently proposed for nomenclatural conservation: Halymenia, Grateloupia, Nemastoma and Schizymenia. Taxon 30, 314–318.

SILVA, P.C. (1980). Names of classes and families of living algae. Regnum vegetabile 103, 1–156.

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

ZANARDINI, J. (1874). Phyceae Australicae novae vel minus cognitae. Flora (Regensburg) 57, 486–490, 497–505.

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.


1. Thallus foliose and more or less ovate, not or rarely divided

G. ovata

1. Thallus with several to numerous terete to slightly compressed branches


2. Thallus relatively slender, much branched pinnately for several orders with slender, distichous, usually closely set laterals; auxiliary cell ampullae with 3–4 secondary filaments, involucre slight, ostiole present

G. filicina

2. Thallus relatively robust, with long, prominent main axes either largely bare or densely covered on all sides with simple to slightly branched laterals 5–30 (–70) mm long; auxiliary cell ampullae densely branched, involucre prominent, ostiole absent or slight


3. Thallus with long axes, usually branched near their apices, densely covered throughout on all sides with short, fusiform ramuli or tapering laterals mostly 1–3 cm long; ostiole small

G. tasmanica

3. Thallus with long, mostly bare, axes, irregularly and occasionally branched below, usually with occasional to clustered branches above; ostiole absent

G. intestinalis

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