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Liagora harveyana Zeh 1912: 270.

Phylum Rhodophyta – Class Florideophyceae – Order Nemaliales – Family Liagoraceae

Selected citations: Chapman 1969: 62, pl. 7. Fuhrer et al. 1981: pl. 12. Guiry 1990: 353, figs 1–14. Levring 1953: 501, figs 32E–F, 33. Lucas & Perrin 1947: 134. Womersley 1965: 480, figs 63–69, pl. 7 fig. 1.


L. viscida (Forsskal) C. Agardh sensu Harvey 1855a: 552; 1859b: 317; 1863, synop.: xxxviii. Sonder 1846: 153.

Thallus (gametophyte) (Fig. 24C) brownish red with a whitish crust, especially on lower parts, fairly strongly calcified (mainly in the inner cortex) but not rigid, 3–9 (–14) cm high with one to several axes, dichotomously branched every 2–4 (–8) mm, forming a dense rounded tuft; branches terete to slightly compressed; occasionally small proliferations may occur near the base, possibly following damage to the thallus; lower branches 1–2 mm in diameter, tapering gradually to 0.2–0.5 mm below apices. Holdfast discoid, 1–5 mm across; epilithic or on Amphibolis stems. Structure of a medulla of straight, moderately stout filaments 15–20 (–50) µm in diameter, with relatively few rhizoids from the outer medullary cells or occasionally from innermost cortical cells, and a cortex (Fig. 26A) 120–200 (–300) µm broad, of branch systems usually 6–8 cells long, dichotomously branched usually at every cell, often trichotomous above; cortical cells (3–) 5–10 (–15) µm in diameter, elongate below, ovoid-moniliform, L/D 1.5–3 above, with smaller ovoid terminal cells; rhodoplasts (Fig. 26F) more or less stellate with a central pyrenoid; hairs often common.

Tetrasporophyte minute, largely prostrate, filamentous, irregularly branched (Guiry 1990).

Reproduction: Sexual thalli dioecious or monoecious. Carpogonial branches (Fig. 26A,B) borne laterally on inner cells of cortical filaments, usually curved, of 4 (occasionally 3 or 5) cells with a conical carpogonium. Zygote dividing transversely once or twice (Fig. 26C), the upper cell segmenting obliquely to form rather erect, branched, gonimoblast filaments (Fig. 26D). Carposporophyte hemispherical, just within or when mature protruding slightly from the cortex, 200–350 µm across in surface view; carposporangia ovoid, (10–) 15–30 (–36) µm long by (6–) 8–15 µm in diameter, when mature often divided horizontally or irregularly cruciately, with new carposporangia developing laterally from below, sometimes giving a group of 4 or 5 at the apex of each gonimoblast filament. Following fertilization the pit-connections of the carpogonial branch enlarge, and ultimately a fusion cell involving the carpogonial branch and lowest gonimoblast cells is formed (Fig. 26E). Sterile post-fertilization filaments (Fig. 26C, D) develop from cortical cells above and below the supporting cell, sometimes from the supporting cell, forming a loose tangle around the carpogonial branch. These later produce numerous erect filaments, which closely resemble the cortical filaments and form an involucre around the carposporophyte; involucre conspicuous when young, less so when mature. Spermatangia (Fig. 26F) produced at apex of cortical filaments in a digitate arrangement; spermatangia ovoid to spherical, 2–3 µm in diameter, cut off from elongate spermatangial initials borne polychotomously on the end cortical cells.

Tetrasporophytes forming monosporangia or cruciately divided tetrasporangia.

Type locality: Four localities were given by Zeh (1912, p. 270), and the most suitable specimens from which to select a lectotype are those of Harvey from King George Sound, W. Aust. These were distributed by Harvey in Alg. Aust. Exsicc. 354.

Selected specimens: Nanarup, 36 km E of Albany, W. Aust., upper sublittoral (Woelkerling, 19.xi.1968; AD, A33997). Point Sinclair, S. Aust., mid eulittoral pool (Womersley, 7.ii.1954; AD, A19585). Wanna, S. Aust., in low pools (Womersley, 19.ii.1959; AD, A22466). Marino, S. Aust., on Amphibolis antarctica, 3 m deep (Owen, 27.i.1972; AD, A47231). Yilki, Victor Harbor, S. Aust., drift (Womersley, 7.ii.1988; AD, A58622). Emu Bay, Kangaroo I., S. Aust., upper sublittoral (Womersley, 15.i.1965; AD, A28955). Pennington Bay, Kangaroo I., S. Aust., lower eulittoral (Womersley, 22.i.1947; AD, A4443). Robe, S. Aust., upper sublittoral pools (Womersley, 29.i.1964; AD, A27298). Port Fairy, Vic., upper sublittoral pools (Womersley, 24.ii.1967; AD, A31736 -"Marine Algae of southern Australia" No. 74a). Walkerville, Vic., in intertidal pools (Sinkora A2367, 17.iii.1977; AD, A48426). Guyton Point, Robbins I., Tas., upper sublittoral pools (Wollaston & Mitchell, 23.ii.1964; AD, A28031 -"Marine Algae of southern Australia" No. 74b).

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

Distribution: New Zealand.

Nanarup, W. Aust., to Walkerville, Vic., and the north coast of Tasmania.

Taxonomic notes: Liagora harveyana is a common species in shallow water on rough-water rock platforms and occasionally on Amphibolis in deeper water. Guiry (1990) has shown that the carposporangium divisions are not meiotic, but a minute filamentous tetrasporophyte recycles itself by monospores and reforms the macroscopic gametophyte via tetraspores.


CHAPMAN, V.J. (1969). The marine algae of New Zealand. Part III: Rhodophyceae. Issue 1: Bangiophycidae and Florideophycidae (Némalionales, Bonnemaisoniales, Gélidiales). (Cramer: Germany.)

FUHRER, B., CHRISTIANSON, I.G., CLAYTON, M.N. & ALLENDER, B.M. (1981). Seaweeds of Australia. (Reed: Sydney.)

GUIRY, M.D. (1990). The life history of Liagora harveyana (Nemaliales, Rhodophyta) from south-eastern Australia. Br. phycol. J. 25, 353–362.

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. (1859b). Algae. In Hooker, J.D., The Botany of the Antarctic Voyage. Flora Tasmaniae. Vol. II, pp. 282–320.

HARVEY, W.H. (1863). Phycologia Australica. Vol. 5, Plates 241–300, synop., pp. i-lxxiii. (Reeve: London.)

LEVRING, T. (1953). The marine algae of Australia. I. Rhodophyta: Goniotrichales, Bangiales and Némalionales. Arkiv för Bot. Ser. 2, 2, 457–530.

LUCAS, A.H.S. & PERRIN, F. (1947). The Seaweeds of South Australia. Part 2. The Red Seaweeds. (Govt Printer: Adelaide.)

SONDER, O.W. (1846). Algae. In Lehmann, C., Plantae Preissianae. Vol. 2, pp. 148–160. (Hamburg.)

WOMERSLEY, H.B.S. (1965). The Helminthocladiaceae (Rhodophyta) of southern Australia. Aust. J. Bot. 13, 451–487, Plates 1–7.

ZEH, W. (1912). Neue Arten der Gattung Liagora. Berlin Univ. Bot. Gart. Notizbl. 5, 268–273.

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 24C, 26 A–F.

Figure 24 image

Figure 24   enlarge

Fig. 24. A. Liagora codii (AD, A27081). Habit. B. Liagora farinosa (AD, A18260). Habit. C. Liagora harveyana (AD, A27298). Habit. D. Liagora wilsoniana (AD, A19127). Habit. [A–D as in Womersley 1965.]

Figure 26 image

Figure 26   enlarge

Fig. 26. A–F. Liagora harveyana (AD, A4443). A. Cortical filaments with a carpogonial branch. B. Carpogonial branch. C. First zygote division and young sterile filaments. D. Older gonimoblast and sterile filaments. E. Mature carposporophyte with some divided carposporangia. F. Cortical filaments with spermatangia. G. Tetrasporophyte with tetrasporangia. H–M. Liagora wilsoniana (AD, A10784). H. Cortical filaments with a carpogonial branch. I. Carpogonial branch. J. First zygote division and young sterile filaments. K. Young gonimoblast and sterile filaments. L. Almost mature carposporophyte and involucre of sterile filaments. M. Spermatangial branches. [A–E, H–M after Womersley 1965; G after Guiry 1990, fig.11.]

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