Electronic Flora of South Australia Species Fact Sheet

Plocamium leptophyllum Kützing 1849: 885; 1866: 16, pl. 45a-c.

Phylum Rhodophyta – Class Florideophyceae – Order Gigartinales – Family Plocamiaceae

Selected citations: J. Agardh 1852: 405; 1876: 338 (probably excluding var. strictum). De Toni 1900: 589. Levring 1946: 222. Lucas 1909: 34. Lucas & Perrin 1947: 210 (in part?). Reinbold 1897: 52. Sonder 1853: 683. South & Adams 1979: 127, figs 5, 23, 24. Womersley 1971a: 24, figs 40–42.


P. leptophyllum var. flexuosum J. Agardh 1876: 339. De Toni 1900: 589.

P. coccineum var. flexuosum Hooker & Harvey 1847: 404. J. Agardh 1852: 396. Guiler 1952: 90. Harvey 1847: 124, pl. 43; 1859b: 317. Kützing 1849: 884.

flexuosum (Hooker & Harvey) Sonder 1853: 682. Lucas 1929a: 19; 1929b: 50.

Thallus (Fig. 131E) delicate, usually epiphytic on other algae, densely branched with clustered fronds from indefinite entangled bases, 3–15 cm high. Axes often slightly to distinctly flexuous and frequently bearing hooked branchlets (Fig. 131F) corresponding to the branch apex or the lowest ramulus of a series; axes about 0.5 mm broad above, becoming slightly thickened and subterete below. Ramuli in alternate series of (3–) 4–5, sublinear, commonly all branched except the lowest, with short, adventitious ramuli developing on the margin of the axis between the series (Fig. 131F) and also between ramuli of the series, frequently forming an almost continuous fringe of ramuli along the branches; lowest ramuli in the series 1–1.5 mm long and about 50 (–100) µm broad at their base.

Reproduction: Sexual plants unknown. Stichidia (Fig. 131G) 200–250 (–750) µm long and 75–100 µm in diameter, borne singly or in groups in the axils or on the upper edge of the ramuli, simple or branched at wide angles in their upper parts, lanceolate with a short pedicel and usually with an acute, sterile tip. Tetrasporangia in one or two rows, ovoid, 30–45 µm long, zonately divided.

Type from Georgetown, Tasmania (Gunn 1335); holotype in L, 941, 181 ... 471. Two isotype specimens are in NSW.

Selected specimens: 4 km W of Waldegrave I., S. Aust., 30 m deep (Branden, 3.vii.1987; AD, A57585). Topgallant I., S. Aust., 35 m deep (Branden, 2.vii.1987; AD, A57565). Amphitheatre Rock, West I., S. Aust., 16–22 m deep (Shepherd, 1.i.1969; AD, A33238). Toad Head, West I., S. Aust., 12–20 m deep (Shepherd, 5.viii.1970; AD, A36017). 1.3 km off Cape Northumberland, S. Aust., 15 m deep (Shepherd, 9.ii.1977; AD, A55186). Red Rocks, Phillip I., Vic., 4–6 m deep (Riddle, 12.ii.1990; AD, A60161). Gabo I., Vic., 24 m deep (Shepherd, 14.ii.1973; AD, A43307). Low Head, Tas. (Perrin & Lucas, Feb. 1935; AD, A49687). Tesselated Pavement, Eaglehawk Neck, Tas., 7 m deep (Brown & Kenchington, 16.x.1986; AD, A57627). Fluted Cape, Bruny I., Tas., 7–10 m deep (Shepherd, 10.ii.1972; AD, A41448). Green Cape, N.S.W., 16 m deep (Shepherd, 13.ii.1973; AD, A43031).

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

Distribution: New Zealand.

Waldegrave I., S. Aust., to Green Cape, (possibly to Coffs Harbour - Millar & Kraft 1993, p. 24) N.S.W., and around Tasmania. Usually epiphytic on other algae on coasts of strong wave action and known from depths of 2–25 m.

Taxonomic notes: P. leptophyllum is most closely related to slender forms of P. cartilagineum but is readily distinguished by the presence of adventitious ramuli and usually by the hooked ends of branches and some lower ramuli. No sexual plants have been recorded and few tetrasporangial plants are known. P. leptophyllum is normally an entangled epiphyte on other species of Plocamium or other bushy algae.


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.)

DE TONI, G.B. (1900). Sylloge Algarum omnium hucusque Cognitarum. Vol. 4. Florideae. Sect. 2, pp. 387–776. (Padua.)

GUILER, E.R. (1952). The marine algae of Tasmania. Check-list with localities. Pap. Proc. R. Soc. Tasm. 86, 71–106.

HARVEY, W.H. (1847). Phycologia Britannica. Plates 73–144. (Reeve: London.)

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

HOOKER, J.D. & HARVEY, W.H. (1847). Algae Tasmanicae. Lond. J. Bot. 6, 397–417.

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

KÜTZING, F.T. (1866). Tabulae Phycologicae. Vol. 16. (Nordhausen.)

LEVRING, T. (1946). A list of marine algae from Australia and Tasmania. Acta Horti gothoburg 16, 215–227.

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

LUCAS, A.H.S. (1909). Revised list of the Fucoideae and Florideae of Australia. Proc. Linn. Soc. N.S.W. 34, 9–60.

LUCAS, A.H.S. (1929a). The marine algae of Tasmania. Pap. Proc. R. Soc. Tasm. 1928, 6–27.

LUCAS, A.H.S. (1929b). A census of the marine algae of South Australia. Trans. R. Soc. S. Aust. 53, 45–53.

MILLAR, A.J.K. & KRAFT, G.T. (1993). Catalogue of Marine and Freshwater Red Algae (Rhodophyta) of New South Wales, including Lord Howe Island, South-western Pacific. Aust. Syst. Bot. 6, 1–90.

REINBOLD, T. (1897). Die Algen der Lacepede und Guichen Bay und deren naherer Umgebung (Siid Australien), gesammelt von Dr. A. Engelhart-Kingston. Nuova Notarisia 8, 41–62.

SONDER, O.W. (1853). Plantae Muellerianae. Algae. Linnaea 25, 657–709.

SOUTH, G.R. & ADAMS, N.M. (1979). A revision of the genus Plocamium Lamouroux (Rhodophyta, Gigartinales) in New Zealand. Phycologia 18, 120–132.

WOMERSLEY, H.B.S. (1971a). The genus Plocamium (Rhodophyta) in southern Australia. Trans. R. Soc. S. Aust. 95, 9–27.

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.

Illustration in Womersley Part IIIA, 1994: FIG. 131 E–G.

Figure 131 image

Figure 131   enlarge

Fig. 131. A–D. Plocamium cartilagineum (AD, A35979). A. Habit. B. Branches with sessile cystocarps. C. Branches with spermatangia. D. Branches with stichidia. E–G. Plocamium leptophyllum (E, AD, A33238; F, G, AD, A36017). E. Habit. F. Upper part of a branch with normal and adventitious ramuli and hooked branch ends. G. Branches with stichidia. [A–G as in Womersley 1971.]

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