Electronic Flora of South Australia Species Fact Sheet

Kallymenia spinosa Womersley & Norris 1971: 15, figs 32–36,87.

Phylum Rhodophyta – Class Florideophyceae – Order Gigartinales – Family Kallymeniaceae

Thallus (Fig. 74B) light to medium red, foliose, 3–7 cm high and 3–6 cm across, gradually to broadly cuneate from a short stipe, with the rounded upper margin becoming irregularly lobed; margin and usually the surface (except basal part) densely covered with short, branched spines 1–2 mm long (Fig. 75G); thallus fairly firm, adherent to paper. Holdfast discoid, 1–2 mm across; epilithic. Structure. Thallus (Fig. 75H) 200–350 µm thick, consisting of 3–4 layers of cortical cells and a central medulla of dense, slender filaments 2–5 (–8) µm thick, often lying parallel to the surface in young parts but denser and with many filaments crossing the medulla in older parts; large, darkly staining refractive cells with long arms are common and prominent in the medulla, occasionally remaining joined as a partial network; outer cortical cells compact, in surface view isodiametric to elongate and 7–11 µm across, isodiametric in sectional view of thallus.

Reproduction: Carpogonial branch systems (Fig. 75I, J) monocarpogonial with the mature supporting cell broader at its upper end and bearing 2 (–3) elongate, slightly clavate subsidiary cells and a carpogonial branch with first and second cells elongate. Auxiliary cell systems (Fig. 75K) relatively small (about 20 µm across), consisting of a subspherical auxiliary cell and three subsidiary cells. Post-fertilization stages and cystocarps not observed. Male plants unknown.

Tetrasporangia scattered over the thallus in the cortex, 30–38 µm long and 20–26 µm in diameter, cruciately divided,

Type from Pearson I., S. Aust., 33 m deep (Shepherd, 7.i.1969); holotype in AD, A33660.

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

Distribution: Known from the type and Pearson I., S. Aust., 22 m deep (Shepherd, 12.i.1969; AD, A34057), and from St Francis I., Isles of St Francis, S. Aust., 55 m deep (Shepherd, 9.i.1971; AD, A38079, tetrasporangial).

Taxonomic notes: K. spinosa resembles K. rubra in being monocarpogonial with simple subsidiary cells but is strikingly characterised by its densely spiny edge and surface (edge only in the St Francis I. specimens) as well as in details of cortex and medulla. The refractive cells are also larger and much more strongly developed in K. spinosa.


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.

Illustrations in Womersley Part IIIA, 1994: FIGS 74B, 75 G–K.

Figure 74 image

Figure 74   enlarge

Fig. 74. A. Kallymenia rubra (AD, A22164). Habit. B. Kallymenia spinosa (AD, A33660). Habit. C, D. Glaphyrymenia pustulosa (AD, A35823). C. Habit. D. Transverse section of thallus with cystocarp. [B, D as in Womersley & Norris 1971.]

Figure 75 image

Figure 75   enlarge

Fig. 75. A–F. Kallymenia rubra (AD, A22164). A. Transverse section of thallus with young carpogonial branch system. B. Stellate cell. C. Mature carpogonial branch system. D. Auxiliary cell system. E. Fusion cell producing connecting filaments. F. Fusion of connecting filament with auxiliary cell and formation of gonimoblast cells. G–K. Kallymenia spinosa (AD, A33660). G. Surface of thallus with spines. H. Transverse section of thallus. I. Young carpogonial branch system. J. Mature carpogonial branch system. K. Auxiliary cell system. L-0. Glaphyrymenia pustulosa (AD, A35823). L. Transverse section of thallus with tetrasporangia. M. Stellate cell. N. Carpogonial branch system. 0. Auxiliary cell system. [A–M after Womersley & Norris 1971.]

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