Electronic Flora of South Australia Species Fact Sheet

Porphyra columbina Montagne 1842: 14; 1845: 33, p1. 9 fig. 2.

Phylum Rhodophyta – Class Bangiophyceae – Order Bangiales – Family Bangiaceae

Selected citations: J. Agardh 1883: 70: pl. II figs 65–66. Chapman 1969: 22. Dawson et al. 1964: 32, pl. 61B. Guiler 1952: 84. Kützing 1869: 29, p1. 80 e, f. Levring 1953: 464, figs 2–4. Millar & Kraft 1993: 5. Ricker 1987: 140, fig. 58. Womersley & Conway 1975: 63, figs 3, 4.

Thallus (Fig. 5F, G) grey-red to red-purple, 5–20 (–40) cm long and (2–) 4–10 (–30) cm broad, relatively tough, elongate-cuneate with undulate margins when young, becoming broadly expanded and usually umbilicate by basal proliferation, blades monostromatic, 35–60 µm thick, arising from a rhizoidal holdfast; usually epilithic or on solid substrates, rarely epiphytic. Growth diffuse, intercalary. Cells (Fig. 6A) more or less in rows but becoming irregular, isodiametric to slightly elongate in surface view, 10–15 µm across, separated by a gelatinous matrix 0.5–1 times the cell width; rhodoplasts stellate, axial, each with a pyrenoid.

Reproduction: Monosporangia (?) scattered, near margins. Thalli monoecious. Carposporangia (Fig. 6B) prominent, forming irregular patches often with interspersed vegetative cells, usually adjacent to the thallus margin, with (4–) 8–16 carposporangia per group. Spermatangia (Fig. 6B) adjacent to the thallus margin, in patches or amongst the carposporangial groups, in packets of 32–64, spermatia 2–3 µm in diameter.

Sporophyte (conchocelis phase) recorded by Conway & Cole (1977, p. 208).

Type from the Auckland Is (D'Urville); in Herb. Montagne, PC.

Selected specimens: Elliston, S. Aust., mid eulittoral (Parsons, 24.viii.1967; AD, A31940). Wanna, S. Aust., mid eulittoral (Womersley, 21.viii.1967; AD, A31807). Victor Harbor, S. Aust., mid eulittoral (Womersley, 27.viii.1972; AD, A42629). Vivonne Bay, Kangaroo I., S. Aust., mid eulittoral (Womersley, 24.viii.1963; AD, A27024). Cape Lannes, S. Aust., mid eulittoral (Womersley, 14.v.1972; AD, A42214 -"Marine Algae of southern Australia" No. 151b and 17.ix.1993; AD, A62998). Nora Creina, S. Aust., eulittoral pools (Womersley, 3.ix.1971; AD, A39559). Warrnambool, Vic., mid eulittoral (Shepherd, 19.viii.1972; AD, A42625 -"Marine Algae of southern Australia" No. 151a). Binalong Bay, Tas., lower eulittoral (Wollaston & Mitchell, 3,iii.1964; AD, A27811). Pebbly Beach, N of Batemans Bay, N.S.W., mid eulittoral (Womersley, 6.i.1974; AD, A44621). Birubi Point, S of Port Stephens, N.S.W., mid eulittoral (Womersley, 17.xii.1987; AD, A58631).

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

Distribution: New Zealand and subantarctic islands, southern S. America (Pujals 1963, p. 8).

In southern Australia, from Elliston, S. Aust. to Port Stephens, N.S.W. and around Tasmania.

Taxonomic notes: P. columbina is often common, forming a dense mid eulittoral community, on rough-water rocky coasts from Robe, S. Aust. to southern N.S.W., and around Tasmania, especially in winter months.


AGARDH, J.G. (1883). Till algemes systematik. VI. Ulvaceae. Acta Univ. lund. 19(2), 1–182, Plates 1–4.

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

CONWAY, E. & COLE, K. (1977). Studies in the Bangiaceae: structure and reproduction of the conchocelis of Porphyra and Bangia in culture (Bangiales, Rhodophyceae). Phycologia 16, 205–216.

DAWSON, E.Y., ACLETO, C. & FOLDVIK, N. (1964). The seaweeds of Peru. Nova Hedwigia 13, 1–111, Plates 1–81.

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

KÜTZING, F.T. (1869). Tabulae Phycologicae. Vol. 19. (Nordhausen.)

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

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.

MONTAGNE, C. (1842). Prodromus Generum Specierumque Phycearum Novarum in Itinere ad Polum Antarcticum. (Paris.)

MONTAGNE, C. (1845). Voyage au Pôle Sud et dans l'Océanie sur les Corvettes l'Astrolabe et la Mee. Botanique, T I. Plantes cellulaires. (Plates 1–20 dated 1852.)

PUJALS, C. (1963). Catálogo de Rhodophytas citadas para Argentina. Rev. Mus. Arg. Cienc. Nat. "B. Rivadavia", Bot. 3 (1), 1–139.

RICKER, R.W. (1987). Taxonomy and biogeography of Macquarie Island Seaweeds. [British Museum (N.H.): London.]

WOMERSLEY, H.B.S. & CONWAY, E. (1975). Porphyra and Porphyropsis (Rhodophyta) in southern Australia. Trans. R. Soc. S. Aust. 99, 59–70.

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: PLATES 1 fig. 1, 2 fig. 1; FIGS 5F, G, 6A, B.

Plate 1 image

Plate 1   enlarge

PLATE 1 fig. 1. Coast at Cape Lannes, S. Aust., with a mid eulittoral zone of Porphyra columbina. fig. 2. Coast at Evans Cave, Cape Lannes, S. Aust., at low tide with various emergent Rhodophyta in the lower eulittoral zone.

Figure 5 image

Figure 5   enlarge

Fig. 5. A–E. Porphyra woolhousiae (A, B, D, AD, A44234; C, the type; E, AD, A42722). A. Habit. B. Cell arrangement, with meristematic margin. C. Cells and margin in the type. D. Cells from within margin. E. Spermatangial region. F, G. Porphyra columbine (F, AD, A42214; G, AD, A42625). F. Habit of young plants. G. Habit of older umbilicate plants. [F as in Womersley & Conway 1975.]

Figure 6 image

Figure 6   enlarge

Fig. 6. A, B. Porphyra columbina (AD, A39559). A. Vegetative cells. B. Thallus with spermatangia and carposporangia. C–F. Porphyra lucasii (C, F, AD, A42764; D, AD, A51249; E, AD, A32739). C. A large ruffled thallus. D. Small ovate thalli with spermatangial strips. E. Vegetative cells (lower half) and spermatangia. F. Spermatangia (on left) and carposporangia. [D as in Womersley & Conway 1975.]

Disclaimer Copyright Disclaimer Email Contact:
State Herbarium of South Australia
Government of South Australia Government of South Australia Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources