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Electronic Flora of South Australia Family Fact Sheet

FAMILY KALLYMENIACEAE (J. Agardh) Kylin 1928: 56

Phylum Rhodophyta – Class Florideophyceae – Order Gigartinales

Thallus erect, foliose and solid or perforate, to much branched and compressed (usually in one plane), or parasitic and pulvinate. Structure multiaxial, with a medulla of ovoid, closely packed cells or of lax to compact slender filaments (often with stellate or refractive cells), usually accompanied by slender rhizoidal filaments, and a thin to moderate cortex of short to medium length anticlinal filaments. Rhodoplasts discoid, numerous per cell.

Reproduction: Sexual thalli dioecious, procarpic or (usually) non-procarpic.

Carpogonial branches borne on a supporting cell in the inner cortex, mono- or polycarpogonial and accompanied by subsidiary cells of similar morphology to the large, often lobed, lower two cells of the 3-celled carpogonial branches; a fusion cell formed after fertilization, involving the supporting cell and lower cells of the carpogonial branches, then producing connecting filaments in non-procarpic genera. Auxiliary cell systems distinct and distant from the carpogonial systems (except in Callophyllis where the supporting cell acts as the auxiliary cell), with an auxiliary cell bearing 1–2-celled chains of sterile, ovoid, subsidiary cells. Gonimoblast developing from the auxiliary cell or adjacent connecting filament, forming slender filaments which develop groups of intermixed carposporangia (often appearing in loculi), with or without a slight filamentous involucre. Cystocarps prominent, usually immersed in but slightly to distinctly swelling the thallus, in some taxa protruding, ostiolate or not. Spermatangia cut off from surface cortical cells.

Tetrasporangia lying within the outer cortex, scattered, cruciately divided.

A family of some 18 genera, characterised by the very distinctive female reproductive systems with the supporting cell bearing one to several carpogonial branches and sterile subsidiary cells, with the latter and the lower two carpogonial branch cells large and often prominently lobed. The auxiliary cell systems in non-procarpic genera are also distinctive, with several 1–2-celled chains of subsidiary cells. Many taxa have refractive, darkly staining, usually branched cells in the medulla, somewhat similar to those in the Halymeniaceae but not so "ganglioid" in form.

The family name as cited above was proposed for conservation by Silva (1980, p. 84) but withdrawn (Silva 1993a, p. 122).

Life history triphasic with isomorphic gametophytes and tetrasporophytes.


KYLIN, H. (1928). Entwicklungsgeschichtliche Florideen Studien. Lunds Univ. Årsskr. N.F. Avd. 2, 24 (4), 1–127.

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

SILVA, P.C. (1993a). Withdrawal of proposals for conservation of family names of algae. Taxon 42, 121–122.

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. Medulla largely of filaments of elongate cells, without compactly arranged large ovoid cells though lightly staining stellate cells may occur


1. Medulla of compactly arranged, large, isodiametric to ovoid cells with intermixed rhizoidal filaments


2. Thallus foliose, simple or with marginal lobes


2. Thallus branched, sublinear or moniliform


3. Cortex with large inner cells and smaller outer cells; cystocarps with groups of carposporangia separated by gonimoblast filaments


3. Cortex of slender filaments and without larger inner cortical cells; cystocarps with carposporangia formed from a central mass of gonimoblast filaments


4. Thallus irregularly branched, not constricted, 0.5–2 (–4) cm broad; tetrasporangia usually with oblique divisions


4. Thallus subdichotomous, upper branches consisting of constricted, ovoid-moniliform segments, each less than 1 cm long; tetrasporangia cruciately divided


5. Medulla with a single regular layer of large cells, with slender filaments between them and forming a broad cortex


5. Medulla with several layers of irregularly arranged large cells with intermixed filaments of cells and a cortex of smaller cells


6. Thallus foliose but subdivided; medulla not very compact and filaments tending to form a central layer; massive darkly staining refractive and often ganglioid cells present; non-procarpic


6. Thallus much branched; medulla compact, filaments irregularly placed; stellate and refractive cells absent; procarpic or non-procarpic


7. Non-procarpic, with distinct auxiliary cell systems


7. Procarpic, with the fusion cell developing gonimoblast filaments


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