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Electronic Flora of South Australia Genus Fact Sheet

Genus KALLYMENIA J. Agardh 1842: 98

Phylum Rhodophyta – Class Florideophyceae – Order Gigartinales – Family Kallymeniaceae

Thallus foliose with an entire or variously lobed margin, perforate or not, sometimes spinose, usually almost as broad as high. Structure. Medulla becoming largely filamentous, but with stellate and usually larger medullary cells remaining, and with a cortex usually 2–4 cells broad, the outer cells smallest.

Reproduction: Non-procarpic. Carpogonial branch systems mono- or polycarpogonial with the supporting cell, first cell of the carpogonial branch, and subsidiary cells either rounded or variously lobed, fusion cell usually massive and much lobed, producing several to many connecting filaments. Auxiliary cell systems with 3–8 subspherical to ovoid subsidiary cells on an ovoid auxiliary cell. Carposporophyte consisting of numerous carposporangia intermixed with filaments, within the medulla. Spermatangia scattered over the thallus.

Tetrasporangia scattered, cruciately (rarely irregularly) divided, connected to inner or middle cortical cells and lying in the outer cortex.

Lectotype species: K. reniformis (Turner) J. Agardh 1842: 99.

Taxonomic notes: A genus of about 20 species, with 5 known from southern Australia and two further species from N.S.W. (see Womersley & Norris 1971, pp. 9, 11). The type species has been studied in detail by Norris (1957, p. 257) and by Hommersand & Ott (1970).


AGARDH, J.G. (1842). Algae Maris Mediterranei et Adriatici, Observationes in Diagnosin Specierum et Dispositionem Generum. (Fortin, Masson: Paris.)

HOMMERSAND, M.H. & OTT, D.W. (1970). Development of the carposporophyte of Kallymenia reniformis (Turner)J. Agardh. J. Phycol. 6, 322–331.

NORRIS, R.E. (1957). Morphological studies on the Kallymeniaceae. Univ. Calif. Pubis Bot. 28, 251–333.

WOMERSLEY, H.B.S. & NORRIS, R.E. (1971). The morphology and taxonomy of Australian Kallymeniaceae (Rhodophyta). Aust. J. Bot. Suppl. 2, pp. 1–62.

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 with numerous subcircular perforations


1. Thallus without numerous regular perforations


2. Monocarpogonial with lobed subsidiary cells; stellate cells lightly staining and with irregular arms mostly shorter than body of cell; outer cortical cells mostly 4–6 µm across in surface view; perforations mostly remaining small (under 0.5 cm across)

K. cribrosa

2. Polycarpogonial, with a rounded to ovoid first cell of the carpogonial branch; stellate cells lightly staining with slender arms commonly 1–2 (or more) times as long as body of cell; outer cortical cells mostly 6–9 [tm across in surface view; perforations of thallus increasing in size fairly regularly from the margin, to 1 (–2) cm across in larger plants,

K. cribrogloea

3. Thallus large (15–30 cm high when mature), foliose with overlapping lobes, monocarpogonial with carpogonial branch systems acting as auxiliary cell systems

K. tasmanica

3. Thallus smaller (usually under 15 cm high), foliose but without overlapping lobes, monocarpogonial and with small auxiliary cell systems (without carpogonial branches)


4. Thallus surface without spines, sometimes with small irregular excrescences; outer cortical cells elongate in section and subpalisade-like, medullary filaments coarse

K. rubra

4. Thallus or at least the margin covered with branched spines 1–2 mm long; outer cortical cells isodiametric in section, medullary filaments slender

K. spinosa

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