Electronic Flora of South Australia Species Fact Sheet

Hypnea valentiae (Turner) Montagne 1841: 161.

Phylum Rhodophyta – Class Florideophyceae – Order Gigartinales – Family Hypneaceae

Selected citations: J. Agardh 1852: 450. Chapman 1979: 354, pl. 144? Dawson 1961: 238, pl. 37. Millar 1990: 349, fig. 22C. Mshigeni 1978: 878, fig. 15(?). Papenfuss 1968b: 89. Silva et al. 1987: 50.


Fucus valentiae Turner 1809: 17, pl. 78.

Hypnea hamulosa sensu Sonder 1848: 190?

Thallus (Fig. 156A) medium to dark red-brown, (5–) 10–30 cm high, usually with a main percurrent axis and long percurrent lateral branches, much branched with irregular radial laterals becoming gradually shorter, main branches with numerous short, spinous, branchlets; all branches and branchlets directed upwards and not at right angles to parent branches; hamate branches absent. All branches terete, axes 1–1.5 (–2) mm in diameter below, decreasing gradually to lesser branches 200–300 µm in diameter, branchlets basally 150–200 µm in diameter, tapering from their base to an acute apex. Attachment by small discoid haptera to stones and shells. Structure uniaxial with a protruding apical cell, axial filament conspicuous throughout, becoming 30–60 µm in diameter with cells L/D 4–10, surrounded by a medulla 2 (–3) cells broad, inner cells ovoid and 40–100 (–150) µm in diameter with numerous secondary pit-connections, and a small-celled cortex 1 (–2) cells broad, outermost cells in an even layer, (5–) 6–9 µm in diameter and L/D 1–2. Rhodoplasts discoid to elongate, several to numerous per cell, ribbon shaped in inner cells.

Reproduction: Sexual thalli probably dioecious. Carpogonial branches and early post-fertilization stages not observed. Carposporophyte (Fig. 156B) with a lax reticulum of elongate cells in filaments from several basal cells to upper pericarp cells, with smaller lateral cells producing clusters of small cells which cut off single, subspherical to ovoid, carposporangia 12–25 µm in diameter. Cystocarps mainly on the branchlets, sessile, globular, not or slightly basally constricted, 250–500 (–700) µm in diameter, with a pericarp 2–4 cells thick, ostiole small and weakly defined. Spermatangia not observed.

Tetrasporangia in swollen nemathecia (Fig. 156C) around the lower part of lateral branchlets, basally pit-connected to inner cortical cells (Fig. 154F), ovoid, 25–60 µm long and 12–25 µm in diameter, zonately divided.

Type from the Red Sea; in BM.

Selected specimens: Coffin Bay, S. Aust., 1–2 m deep opposite Crinolin Point (P. Womersley, 1.xii.1975; AD, A46796). Port Adelaide, S. Aust., 30–60 cm deep on Commercial Fishing Marina (Leupold, 24.v.1984; AD, A55112). Port Stanvac, S. Aust., 11 m deep (Rowland, 7.ii.1987; AD, A57349). Bay of Shoals, Kangaroo I., S. Aust., 3 m deep in channel (Womersley, 5.i.1990; AD, A60123). Cockle Bank, American R. inlet, Kangaroo I., S. Aust., upper sublittoral (Womersley, 1.i.1949; AD, A10443). Muston, Kangaroo I., S. Aust., 4–5 m deep (Shepherd, 29.xii.1977; AD, A48965). Williamstown, Vic., on rocks (Hansen, 28.xii.1963; AD, A20448). Crawfish Rock, Westernport Bay, Vic., 2 m deep (Shepherd, 31.i.1970; AD, A35201) and 0 m deep (Watson, 29.v.1974; AD, A44416).

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

Distribution: Widely distributed in tropical and subtropical waters.

In southern Australia, from Coffin Bay, S. Aust., to Crawfish Rock, Westernport Bay,


Taxonomic notes: H. valentiae occurs in sheltered localities but usually where there is current flow, e.g. on the sides of channels. The southern Australian specimens agree fairly well with Turner's original illustration and description, and they are referred to this species pending further detailed study of the type specimens and variation of the taxa of Hypnea.

H. hamulosa sensu Sonder (1848, p. 190) may be H. valentiae (but see Papenfuss 1958, p. 105).

Other species of Hypnea credited to southern Australia.

1. Hypnea musciformis (Wulfen) Lamouroux has been recorded from southern Australia by many authors, Sonder (1848, p. 189) and Harvey (1855a, p. 552; 1863, synop.: xxxvi) being the earliest. However, no specimens from southern Australia appear to match this species from the Mediterranean (the type locality) where the longer, upper branches are hamate, and until specimens are found which do agree with Mediterranean plants, this species should be excluded from southern Australia.

Hypnea cenomyce J. Agardh 1852: 452; 1876: 564. De Toni 1900: 481. Harvey 1855a: 552; 1863, synop.: xxxvi. May & Larkum 1981: 456. Millar & Kraft 1993: 19. Sonder 1853: 685.

The probable type of H. cenomyce, from "Nov. Ho11." is in Herb. Agardh, LD, 33882, though J. Agardh gave "Hb. Greville" in describing the species.

J. Agardh's description was of a sterile plant with a pulvinate entangled base and emergent erect branches. This habit occurs in young plants of H. ramentacea especially under rough-water conditions [e.g. AD, A4485 from Pennington Bay, Kangaroo I., S. Aust., sublittoral fringe (Womersley, 13.iv.1947)], and H. cenomyce may be only such a basal mat form of the above or some other species. H. cenomyce has been recorded from several other countries [e.g. from Japan by Tanaka (1941, p. 250, fig. 21)].

3. Hypnea hamulosa (Turner) Montagne has been applied to southern Australian taxa (e.g. Lucas 1929b, p. 49; Sonder 1848, p. 190). Papenfuss (1958, p. 105) discussed uncertainties in the use of this name, and later (1968b, p. 89) placed it as a doubtful synonym of H. valentiae, as do Silva et al. (1987, p. 50). Australian specimens under H. hamulosa require re-examination.


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

CHAPMAN, V.J. (1979). The marine algae of New Zealand. Part DI Rhodophyceae. Issue 4: Gigartinales. (Cramer: Germany.)

DAWSON, E.Y. (1961). Marine red algae of Pacific Mexico. Part 4. Gigartinales. Pac. Naturalist 2, 191–343.

DE TONI, G.B. (1900). Sylloge Algarum omnium hucusque Cognitarum. Vol. 4. Florideae. Sect. 2, pp. 387–776. (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. (1863). Phycologia Australica. Vol. 5, Plates 241–300, synop., pp. i-lxxiii. (Reeve: London.)

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

MAY, V. & LARKUM, A.W.D. (1981). A subtidal transect in Jervis Bay, New South Wales. Aust. J. Ecol. 6, 439–457.

MILLAR, A.J.K. & KRAFT, G.T. (1993). Catalogue of Marine and Freshwater Red Algae (Rhodophyta) of New South Wales, including Lord Howe Island, South-western Pacific. Aust. Syst. Bot. 6, 1–90.

MILLAR, A.J.K. (1990). Marine Red Algae of the Coffs Harbour Region, northern New South Wales. Aust. Syst. Bot. 3, 293–593.

MONTAGNE, C. (1841). Plantae cellulares. In Barker-Webb, P. & Bertholot, S., Histoire naturelle des Iles Canaries. Vol. 3, pp. 161–208, 1-xv, Plates 5, 7,8.

MSHIGENI, K.E. (1978). Taxonomic studies on the Hawaiian Hypneaceae with special reference to the genus Hypnea Lamouroux (Rhodophyta). Nova Hedwigia 29, 859–894.

PAPENFUSS, G.F. (1958). Notes on algal nomenclature. IV. Various genera and species of Chlorophyceae, Phaeophyceae and Rhodophyceae. Taxon 7, 104–109.

PAPENFUSS, G.F. (1968b). A history, catalogue, and bibliography of Red Sea benthic algae. Israel J. Bot. 17, 1–118, map.

SILVA, P., MENEZ, E.G. & MOE, R.L. (1987). Catalog of the benthic marine algae of the Philippines. Smithsonian Contr. Mar. Sci. No. 27.

SONDER, O.W. (1848). Algae. In Lehmann, C., Plantae Preissianae. Vol. 2, pp. 161–195. (Hamburg.)

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

TANAKA, T. (1941). The genus Hypnea from Japan. Sci. Pap. Inst. Algol. Res. Hokkaido Univ. 2, 227–250, Plates 53, 54.

TURNER, D. (1809). Fuci sive Plantarum Fucorum Generi a Botanicis Ascriptarum Icones Descriptiones et Historia. Vol. 2, pp. 1–162, Plates 72–134. (London.)

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 154F, 156 A–C.

Figure 154 image

Figure 154   enlarge

Fig. 154. A, B. Hypnea filiformis (A, AD, A19769; B, AD, A61512). A. Section of cortex with spermatangia. B. Transverse section of cortex with tetrasporangia. C. Hypnea ramentacea (AD, A42362). Section of cortex with spermatangia. D, E. Hypnea charoides (D, AD, A61582; E, AD, A60042). D. Section of cortex with spermatangia. E. Section of cortex with tetrasporangia. F. Hypnea valentiae (AD, A48965). Section of cortex with tetrasporangia. G–I. Catenella nipae (G, AD, A60381; H–I, AD, A26432). G. Habit of a tetrasporangial plant. H. Longitudinal section of apical segment with several carpogonial branches and a fusion cell producing gonimoblast initials. I. Longitudinal section of cortex with tetrasporangia. [H, I after Min-Thein & Womersley 1976.]

Figure 156 image

Figure 156   enlarge

Fig. 156. A–C. Hypnea valentiae (AD, A48965). A. Habit. B. Section of cystocarp with clusters of carposporangia. C. Branchlets with tetrasporangia] nemathecia. D. Catenella nipae (AD, A60381). Habit.

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