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Electronic Flora of South Australia Species Fact Sheet

Porphyra lucasii Levring 1953: 469, figs 6H–L, 7.

Phylum Rhodophyta – Class Bangiophyceae – Order Bangiales – Family Bangiaceae

Selected citations: Fuhrer et al. 1981: pl. 17. Womersley & Conway 1975: 63, figs 5, 6.

Thallus (Fig. 6C, D) red to purple, (2–) 5–20 (–40) cm long and 1–10 (–15) cm broad, relatively delicate, lanceolate to broadly ovate or cordate, simple or irregularly laciniate or basally branched, sometimes umbilicate by basal proliferation, margin smooth to undulate (rarely denticulate), blades monostromatic, 20–30 µm thick, attached by a rhizoidal holdfast; epilithic or on solid substrates. Growth diffuse. Cells (Fig. 6E) mostly irregularly arranged, more or less isodiametric, (6–) 8–15 µm across, separated by a gelatinous matrix 0.5–1 times the cell width; rhodoplasts single, axial, each with a pyrenoid.

Reproduction: Monospores formed in patches near the thallus margins.

Carposporangia (Fig. 6F) apparently developing later than spermatangia, not prominent, covering areas between the spermatangial strips near the thallus margin, without intermingled vegetative cells, with about 8 carposporangia per group.

Spermatangia (Fig. 6E, F) occurring in well-marked elongate strips extending in from the apical and side margins of the thallus, 2–20 mm long and 1–5 mm broad, in packets of 16–32, spermatia 3–4 µm in diameter.

Sporophyte (conchocelis phase) unknown.

Type from Bunbury, W. Aust.; in Herb. Levring, Goteborg, isotype in AD, A42700.

Selected specimens: Cottesloe, W. Aust., eulittoral (Smith 39, 15.vii.1944; AD, A4546). Frenchman Bay, King George Sound, W. Aust., mid eulittoral (Womersley, 29.viii.1979; AD, A51654). Spalding Cove, Port Lincoln, S. Aust., mid eulittoral (Womersley, 25.viii.1975; AD, A46505). 4 km N of St Kilda, S. Aust., on Posidonia australis, 1 m deep (Steffensen, 11.ix.1975; AD, A46526). Port Stanvac, S. Aust., mid eulittoral on jetty pylons (Lewis, 1.ix.1972; AD, A42637). Rosetta Bay, Victor Harbor, S. Aust., mid eulittoral (Womersley, 19.vii.1980; AD, A51249 -"Marine Algae of southern Australia" No. 141b). Pelican Lagoon, Kangaroo I., S. Aust., upper eulittoral (Womersley, 6.ix.1946; AD, A3998). Robe, S. Aust., mid eulittoral in bay (Womersley, 8.x.1972; AD, A42764 -"Marine Algae of southern Australia" No. 141). Ricketts Point, Port Phillip Bay, Vic., on rock platform (Sinkora Al252, 7.x.1971; AD, A42299). Crawfish Rock, Westernport Bay, Vic., just sublittoral (Watson, 15.ix.1968; AD, A32739). Dover, Tas., lower eulittoral (Wollaston, 20.viii.1965; AD, A29544).

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

Distribution: Cottesloe, W. Aust., to Westernport Bay, Vic., and the north and east coasts of Tasmania, usually in the mid eulittoral.

Taxonomic notes: P. lucasii is the common Porphyra in the mid eulittoral of calm to moderately rough waters, being replaced by P. columbina where surf action is strong; it is essentially a winter species, distinguished in particular by the narrow strip-like spermatangial areas extending in from the thallus margins.


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

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

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.

Illustration in Womersley Part IIIA, 1994: FIG. 6 C–F.

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.]

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