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Electronic Flora of South Australia Species Fact Sheet

Sarconema filiforme (Sonder) Kylin 1932: 22.

Phylum Rhodophyta – Class Florideophyceae – Order Gigartinales – Family Areschougiaceae

Selected citations: Millar 1990: 346, fig. 21B. Papenfuss & Edelstein 1974: 31, figs 1–3, 13, 20–24.


Dicranema filiforme Sonder 1845: 56; 1846: 173.

Cystoclonium filiforme (Sonder) Kützing 1849: 757; 1868: 6, pl. 18a, b.

Sarconema furcellatum Zanardini 1858: 264, pl. 10 fig. 1. Cribb 1983: 65, pl. 18 fig. 3

Thallus (Fig. 111D) dark red-brown, erect, 10–30 cm high, regularly subdichotomously branched at intervals of 1–3 (–6) cm, branches firm, terete, 0.5–1 (–1.5) mm in diameter, linear throughout. Holdfast discoid, 2–6 mm across, with several fronds becoming basally stoloniferous. Structure multiaxial, developing a medullary core of compact longitudinal filaments 8–14 µm in diameter and a broad cortex 10–12 cells across, inner cells ovoid to irregular, becoming thick walled, 20–60 µm across, decreasing to outer cortical cells 3–4 µm in diameter and L/D 1–2; hairs in small clusters in shallow pits (Fig. 112J). Rhodoplasts discoid, few per cell.

Reproduction: Carpogonial branches and auxiliary cells unknown. Carposporophytes (Fig. 111E) with a central, lobed fusion cell with many arms producing short chains of irregular ovoid to clavate carposporangia 18–25 µm in diameter, with the subterminal sporangium usually less advanced than the terminal; enveloping tissue absent, but the cortex proliferating outside the carposporophyte and becoming ostiolate. Cystocarps often grouped, sunken but distinctly bulging the branch. Spermatangia unknown.

Tetrasporangia (Fig. 112J) scattered in the outer cortex, ovoid, 35–50 µm long and 20–25 µm in diameter, zonately divided.

Type from "occid. Nov. Ho11." (Preiss): holotype in MEL, 44488.

Selected specimens: North Beach, Perth, W. Aust., drift (Norris, 27.iii.1959; AD, A22268). Fremantle, W. Aust., drift (Royce 951, 1.iii.1951; AD, A14143). Sisters Reef, Rockingham, W. Aust., 3 m deep (AIMS-NCI, Q66C 2825-M, 22.iii.1989; AD, A59735). Elliston, S. Aust., pools, inner reef (Womersley, 15.i.1951; AD, A13695). Sorrento, Vic., 6 m deep on Ocean Reef Marina (Millar & O'Brien, 9.xii.1980; MELU, 24410).

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

Distribution: Indo-pacific tropics and subtropics.

In Australia, south to Rockingham on the west coast, from Elliston, S. Aust., Sorrento, Vic., and from Jervis Bay, N.S.W. north on the east coast (Millar & Kraft 1993, p. 27).

Taxonomic notes: S. filiforme is a subtropical species with only sporadic occurrences on southern Australian coasts.


CRIBB, A.B. (1983). Marine algae of the southern Great Barrier Reef. Part I. Rhodophyta. (Aust. Coral Reef Soc., Handbook 2: Brisbane.)

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

KÜTZING, F.T. (1868). Tabulae Phycologicae. Vol. 18. (Nordhausen.)

KYLIN, H. (1932). Die Florideenordnung Gigartinales. Lunds Univ. Årsskr. N.F. Avd. 2, 28 (8), 1–88, Plates 1–28.

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.

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

PAPENFUSS, G.F. & EDELSTEIN, T. (1974). The morphology and taxonomy of the red alga Sarconema (Gigartinales, Solieriaceae). Phycologia 13, 31–44.

SONDER, O.G. (1845). Nova Algarum genera et species, quas in itinere ad oras occidentales Novae Hollandiae, collegit L. Preiss, Ph.Dr. Bot. Zeit. 3, 49–57.

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

ZANARDINI, G. (1858). Plantarum in marl ntbro hucusque collectorum enumeratio. Mem. R. 1st. Veneto Sci. Lett. Arti 7, 209–309, Plates 3–14.

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 111 D, E, 112J.

Figure 111 image

Figure 111   enlarge

Fig. 111. A. Solieria robusta (AD, A44666). Habit. B, C. Solieria tenera (AD, A42350). B. Habit. C. Section of cystocarp with fusion cell, gonimoblast filaments with carposporangia and ostiole. D, E. Sarconema filiforme (AD, A13695). D. Habit. E. Section of thallus with fusion cell, gonimoblast filaments and carposporangia.

Figure 112 image

Figure 112   enlarge

Fig. 112. A–G. Solieria robusta (A, B, G, AD, A19134; C, E, AD, A37805; D, AD, A44666; F, UWA, 1333). A. Longitudinal section of branch apex. B. Longitudinal medullary filaments with connecting cells. C. Section of cortex with a carpogonial branch. D. An auxiliary cell complex in the cortex. E. Section of cystocarp with a large fusion cell with terminal carposporangia. F. Section of cortex with spermatangia. G. Section of cortex with tetrasporangia. H, I. Solieria tenera (H, AD, A42350; I, MELU, 21966). H. Longitudinal section with medullary filaments and cortex with three carpogonial branches. I. Section of cortex with tetrasporangia. J. Sarconema filiforme (AD, A13695). Section of cortex with young and mature tetrasporangia and a hair tuft. [A–G after MM-Thein & Womersley 1976.]

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