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Electronic Flora of South Australia Species Fact Sheet

Hildenbrandia rubra (Sommerfelt) Meneghini 1841:10.

Phylum Rhodophyta – Class Florideophyceae – Order Hildenbrandiales – Family Hildenbrandiaceae

Selected citations: Dethier 1987: 1842, fig. 8. Pueschel 1982: 333, figs 1,2; 1988: 17, figs 1–6. Scagel et al. 1989:195.


Verrucaria rubra Sommerfelt 1826: 140.

H. prototypus Nardo 1834: 675. DeCew & West 1977: 31, figs 3–5,8,9. Denizot 1968: 199, fig. p. 196. Rosenvinge 1917: 202, figs 121–125.

Thallus medium to dark red, (1–) 5–20 cm across, very thin [80–150 (–240) µm thick] and tightly adherent to rock, usually intertidal. Structure (Fig. 42A). Basal layer of irregularly radiating branched filaments 3–5 µm in diameter, cells (within margin) LID 1–2, becoming several cells thick with subspherical to ovoid cells 5–7 µm in diameter. Erect filaments 40–100 µm and 12–30 (–40) cells long, 3–5 µm in diameter with cells angular, L/D 0.6–1; rhodoplasts single per cell, often with inclusions; secondary pit-connections present.

Reproduction: Conceptacles (Fig. 42A) subspherical, 70–100 µm in diameter, with an ostiole 15–30 µm across; tetrasporangia 8–14 µm in diameter and 20–35 µm long, mostly irregularly divided with intersecting cross walls; paraphyses absent, old sporangial walls persistent.

Type from Venice, Italy; in 0?

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

Distribution: Widespread on temperate and tropical coasts on intertidal rock.

Taxonomic notes: SeleCted specimens: Lipson Cove, N of Tumby Bay, S. Aust., uppermost sublittoral (Ricci, 28.xi.1990; AD, A60783). Outer Harbor, S. Aust., mid eulittoral on breakwater (Womersley, 16.vii.1950; AD, A13294). Vivonne Bay, Kangaroo I., S. Aust., in shaded pool, S side Point Ellen (Womersley, 29.viii.1950; AD, A15336). Carpenter Rocks, SE S. Aust., in low eulittoral pools (Womersley, 8.xii.1991; AD, A61515). Lorne, Vic., mid eulittoral in runnels subject to fresh water (Womersley, 22.viii.1984; AD, A55720).

Both H. rubra and H. crouanii form very thin crusts on intertidal rock, and are distinguished only by the division of the tetrasporangia, which in the former are irregularly divided. However, some obliquely zonate ones are often present along with the majority showing irregular divisions, as illustrated by Umezaki (1969, fig. 1) and Pueschel (1982, figs 1,2).


DECEW, T.C. & WEST, J.A. (1977). Culture studies on the marine red algae Hildenbrandia occidentalis and H. prototypus (Cryptonemiales, Hildenbrandiaceae). Bull. Jap. Soc. Phycol. 25 (suppl.), 31–41.

DENIZOT, M. (1968). Les Algues Floridées encroûtantes (a l'exclusion des Corallinacées). (Paris.)

DETHIER, M.N. (1987). The distribution and reproductive phenology of intertidal fleshy crustose algae in Washington. Can. J. Bot. 65, 1838–1850.

MENEGHINI, G. (1841). Memoria sui rapporti di organizzazione fra le Alghe propriamente dette o Ficee e le Alghe terrestri o Licheni. Atti della DI Riunione degli scienz. ital. in Firenze-Torino, pp. 417–431.

NARDO, G.D. (1834). De novo genere Alganim cui nomen est Hildbrandtia prototypus. Oken's Isis 1834, fasc. 6, pp. 675–676. (Leipzig.)

PUESCHEL, C.M. (1982). Ultrastructural observations of tetrasporangia and conceptacles in Hildenbrandia (Rhodophyta, Hildenbrandiales). Br. phycol. J. 17, 333–341.

PUESCHEL, C.M. (1988). Cell sloughing and chloroplast inclusions in Hildenbrandia rubra (Rhodophyta, Hildenbrandiales). Br. phycol. J. 23, 17–23.

ROSENVINGE, L.K. (1917). The marine algae of Denmark. Part II. Rhodophyceae (Cryptonemiales). K. danske Vidensk. Selsk. Biol. Skr., 7 Raekke, Afd. 7, 153–283, Plates 3, 4.

SCAGEL, R.F., GABRIELSON, P.W., GARBARY, D.J. et al. (1989). A synopsis of the benthic marine algae of British Columbia, Southeast Alaska, Washington and Oregon. Univ. Brit. Columbia, Vancouver, B.C., Phycological Contr. No. 3.

SOMMERFELT, S.C. (1826). Supplementum florae lapponicae quam editit D.G. Wahlenberg. (Borgianis & Gröndahlianis: Christianiae.)

UMEZAKI, I. (1969). The germination of tétraspores of Hildenbrandia prototypus Nardo and its life history. J. Jap. Bot. 44, 17–28, Plates 5–8.

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.

Illustration in Womersley Part IIIA, 1994: FIG. 42A.

Figure 42 image

Figure 42   enlarge

Fig. 42. A. Hildenbrandia rubra (AD, A60783). Cross section of thallus with a conceptacle and irregularly divided tetrasporangia. B. Hildenbrandia crouanii (AD, Al2966). Cross section of thallus with a conceptacle with tetrasporangia divided by obliquely zonate walls. C. Hildenbrandia lecannellieri (AD, Al2986). Cross section of thallus and conceptacle (in part) with zonately and irregularly divided tetrasporangia. D. Hildenbrandia expansa (AD, A60088). Cross section of thallus and conceptacle (in part) showing regular horizontal and vertical rows of cells, with horizontal layers of larger cells (arrows), and zonately divided tetrasporangia with paraphyses. E–H. Rhodopeltis australis (E, AD, A15518; F, AD, A8320; G, AD, A34997; H, AD, A38735). E. Section of female nemathecium with a carpogonial branch and an auxiliary cell branch among paraphyses. F. Section of a female nemathecium with a carposporophyte borne on an auxiliary cell. G. Section of a male nemathecium with spermatangial branches. H. Section of outer cortex (with inner stellate cells) with tetrasporangia among short paraphyses.

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