Electronic Flora of South Australia Species Fact Sheet

Peyssonnelia novae-hollandiae Kützing 1847: 33.

Phylum Rhodophyta – Class Florideophyceae – Order Gigartinales – Family Peyssonneliaceae

Selected citations: J. Agardh 1876: 385. Chapman & Parkinson 1974: 161. Denizot 1968: 107, fig. 92. De Toni 1905: 1695. Harvey 1859b: 314; 1863: under pl. 269. Millar 1990: 331, fig. 15A–C.


P. squamaria B novae-hollandiae Kützing 1849: 693.

P. multifida Harvey 1863: pl. 269. J. Agardh 1876: 389. Denizot 1968: 105, fig. 91. De Toni 1905: 1702.

Haematocelis australis J. Agardh 1852: 499.

Thallus (Fig. 44C) medium to dark red, (2–) 5–15 cm long or broad, cartilaginous, more or less orbicular when young, becoming much divided into irregular, lacerate branches 5–15 mm broad with broader flabellate ends, (180–) 250–450 µm thick, with more or less concentric growth zones and faint radial striae, epilithic and basally attached but most of the thallus largely free from the solid substrate. Structure (Fig. 45G). Basal-layer of radiating lines of cells, each cell 10–18 µm in diameter and L/D 2–4, producing from their lower side multicellular rhizoids with the first cell cylindrical and more or less at right angles to the basal-layer cell; hypobasal calcification present. Erect filaments (Fig. 45G) assurgent at 35–45°, attached to the distal end of the basal-layer cells, 15–20 cells long, 8–12 µm in diameter with cells L/D (2–) 3–4 below, branching from the lower 1–3 cells, erect above and 6–10 (–12) µm in diameter with uppermost cells isodiametric to L/D 0.5; sideways growing filaments (Fig. 45G) occasional to common in the lower to mid thallus; internal calcification absent.

Reproduction: Sexual plants dioecious, with slightly raised nemathecia. Female nemathecia 2–4 mm across, with slender paraphyses 240–320 µm and 10–15 cells long, with a firm, patterned, pellicle; carpogonial branches (Fig. 45H) 3–4 cells long, borne on the same basal cell as 3–4-celled auxiliary cell branches; carposporangia (Fig. 45H) in pairs, the pair ovoid, 45–65 µm in diameter and 80–145 µm long. Male nemathecia (Fig. 45I) pale, 0.5–2 mm across, 80–120 µm high with a prominent pellicle, with very numerous, closely adjacent rows of 10–12 tiers each of 3–5 spermatia 2–3 µm across, without paraphyses.

Tetrasporangial nemathecia (Fig. 45G) raised, dark red, in scattered to more or less concentric patches 1–3 (–6) mm across, paraphyses 160–320 µm and 10–15 cells long;

Type from "Nova-Hollandia"; in Herb. Binder, HBG.

Selected specimens: Flat Rocks, 40 km S of Geraldton, W. Aust., drift (Mitchell, 17.ix.1966; AD, A31083). Point Clune, Rottnest I., W. Aust., 13–14 m deep (Kraft & Ricker, 2.xii.1980; MELU, 35384). Ward I., W of Flinders I., S. Aust., 18–23 m deep (Shepherd, 3.iii.1980; AD, A50918). Pondalowie Bay, S. Aust., 5–8 m deep (Shepherd, 14.iv.1963; AD, A26584). South West R., Kangaroo I., S. Aust., 6 m deep (Mitchell, 24.viii.1963; AD, A26824). Amphitheatre Rock, West I., S. Aust., 20–22 m deep (Shepherd, 1.i.1969; AD, A33249). 2 km off Middle Point, Cape Northumberland, S. Aust., 24 m deep, female (Shepherd, 19.iii.1974; AD, A44893). Cape Northumberland, S. Aust., 2–3 m deep (Edyvane, 5.vi.1982; AD, A55508). Lady Julia Percy I., Vic., 8–11 m deep (Shepherd, 3.i.1968; AD, A32466). Point Lonsdale, Vic. (Ducker, 5.ii.1965; MELU, 2044). Cat Bay, Phillip I., Vic., drift (Womersley, 10.iv.1959; AD, A22724). Ninepin Point, D'Entrecasteaux Ch., Tas., 8 m deep (Sanderson, 30.viii.1983; AD, A54367). Collaroy, N.S.W., drift (Lucas, May 1922; NSW, 5279–5286) and (May 468, 24.xi.1944; NSW, 5203; AD, A59945). Green Point, Broken Bay, N.S.W., 5–7 m deep (Larkum, Baker & Martin, 17.xii.1972; NSW, 528, 529). Newcastle, N.S.W. (Harvey, Alg. Aust. Exsicc. 329, type of P. multifida). Richmond R. mouth, N.S.W. (Hodgkinson; MEL, 676112).

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

Distribution: New Zealand.

Flat Rocks, S of Geraldton, W. Aust., around southern Australia to Coffs Harbour, N.S.W., and around Tasmania.

Taxonomic notes: tetrasporangia (120–) 160–200 µm long and (80–) 95–130 µm in diameter, decussately cruciately divided.

Kützing (1847) first described P. novae-hollandiae as a species but later (1849, p. 693) he referred to it as a variety of P. squamaria, without reference to his first description. Harvey (1859b, p. 314 and 1863, under pl. 269) clearly regarded it as a species. This name pre-dates P. multifida Harvey (1863, pl. 269) from Newcastle. N.S.W. Specimens from New South Wales are variable in form, with Harvey's P. multifida being divided into more regular narrow branches, but all show the structural features of P. novae-hollandiae, including the sideways-growing filaments and large tetrasporangia.

No specimens of Haematocelis australis were found in Herb. Agardh, LD, but an unnamed sheet under P. multifida is labelled "e nov. Hollandia. Sieb. in Hb. Diesing." This may be the type of H. australis, and is identical to P. multifida (= P. novae-hollandiae).

P. novae-hollandiae is essentially a deep water species, known from shaded pools to 48 m deep, mainly on south-eastern Australian coasts (and north to the Richmond R. mouth); collections from Rottnest I. are small (2–4 cm high) but otherwise typical of the species. It is fertile in most months but especially in winter, and is distinguished by its branched habit, robustness, absence of internal calcification, direct emergence of rhizoids, presence of sideways growing filaments, and especially by the very large tetrasporangia. In habit it varies considerably, but becomes much branched with age; the N.S.W. and W. Aust. (Flat Rocks) specimens have narrower and more linear branches (the "multifida" form) than Victorian and Tasmanian specimens.

The sideways growing filaments amongst the lower to mid erect filaments appear to be characteristic of only this species amongst those in southern Australia. Similar filaments are reported in P. crispata Boudouresque & Denizot by Athanasiadis (1985, p. 455, figs 5, 6) and illustrated for P. atropurpurea by Maggs & Irvine (1983, fig. 24), but these are only adjacent to the basal layer.


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

AGARDH, J.G. (1876). Species Genera et Ordines Algarum. Vol. 3, Part 1 - Epicrisis systematis Floridearum, pp. i-vii, 1–724. (Weigel: Leipzig.)

ATHANASIADIS, A. (1985). North Aegean Marine Algae I. New Records and Observations from the Sithonia Peninsula, Greece. Bot. Mar. 28, 453–468.

CHAPMAN, V.J. & PARKINSON, P.G. (1974). The marine algae of New Zealand. Part DI: Rhodophyceae. Issue 3: Cryptonemiales. (Cramer: Germany.)

DE TONI, G.B. (1905). Sylloge Algarum omnium hucusque Cognitarum. Vol. 4. Florideae. Sect. 4, pp. 1523–1973. (Padua.)

DENIZOT, M. (1968). Les Algues Floridées encroûtantes (a l'exclusion des Corallinacées). (Paris.)

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.)

KÜTZING, F.T. (1847). Diagnosen and Bemerkungen zu neuen oder kritischen Algen. Bot. Zeit. 5, 1–5, 22–25, 33–38, 52–55, 164–167, 177–180, 193–198, 219–223.

KÜTZING, F.T. (1849). Species Algarum. (Leipzig.)

MAGGS, C.A. & IRVINE, L.M. (1983). Peyssonnelia immersa sp. nov. (Cryptonemiales, Rhodophyta) from the British Isles and France, with a survey of infragenic classification. Br. phycol. J. 18, 219–238.

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

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 44C, 45 G–I.

Figure 44 image

Figure 44   enlarge

Fig. 44. A. Sonderopelta coriacea. (AD, A52035, holotype). Habit. B. Peyssonnelia capensis (AD, A32505). Habit. C. Peyssonnelia novae-hollandiae (AD, A54367). Habit, tetrasporangial specimen. D. Peyssonnelia foliosa (AD, A59300, holotype). Habit. E. Peyssonnelia boudouresquei (AD, A59916). Habit, on Pleuroploca. F. Rhodopeltis australis (AD, A26588). Habit.

Figure 45 image

Figure 45   enlarge

Fig. 45. A–C. Sonderopelta coriacea (A, C, AD, A60395; B, AD, A60394). A. RVS (diagrammatic) of tetrasporangial thallus. B. Carposporangial filaments in a female nemathecium. C. Tetrasporangia with the pellicle shown in surface view above. D–F. Peyssonnelia capensis (D, E, AD, A32505; F, AD, A34320). D. RVS with cystoliths, hypobasal calcification, and young tetrasporangia. E. RVS showing rhodoplasts in cells of erect filaments and rhizoids, calceolate first rhizoidal cells, and mature tetrasporangia. F. Carposporangial filaments in a female nemathecium. G–I. Peyssonnelia novae hollandiae (G, AD, A55508; H, AD, A44893; I, AD, A59945). G. RVS of tetrasporangial thallus showing sideways growing filaments and tetrasporangia. H. A female nemathecium with a carpogonial branch, probable auxiliary cell, and mature carposporangium. I. Spermatangial filaments in a male nemathecium.

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