Electronic Flora of South Australia Genus Fact Sheet

Genus SONDEROPELTA Womersley & Sinkora 1981: 85

Phylum Rhodophyta – Class Florideophyceae – Order Gigartinales – Family Peyssonneliaceae

Thallus uncalcified, with a short, thick, felt-like stipe of entangled rhizoids and a broad, relatively thick and cartilaginous, lamina extending eccentrically from the stipe position, with concentric growth zones, simple to variously lobed and lacerate. Lamina in section composed of spreading filaments to both the underside and to the upper (light-facing) side; terminal cells of underside filaments producing rhizoids forming a felt, not or only weakly attached to the substratum; upper filaments curving to the surface, then producing a layer of short-celled erect filaments.

Reproduction: Carposporangia in nemathecia, with sterile paraphyses and branched chains of carposporangia.

Tetrasporangial nemathecia without sterile paraphyses, tetrasporangia elongate, cruciately divided.

Taxonomic notes: Sonderopelta is a monotypic genus, the name replacing Sonderophycus australis (Sonder) Denizot (1968, pp. 260, 307) when it was found that the type specimen of Peyssonnelia australis Sonder (1853, p. 685) was identical to P. gunniana J. Agardh (=P. capensis Montagne) and not the plant well known as Ethelia australis (Sonder) Weber-van Bosse or Sonderophycus australis (Sonder) Denizot. The latter entity was renamed Sonderopelta coriacea by Womersley & Sinkora (1981).

Sonderopelta differs from other genera of the Peyssonneliaceae in that the RVS shows filaments assurgent to the upper surface and to the lower side from an undifferentiated region several filaments thick, and in that the tetrasporangial nemathecia lack sterile paraphyses.


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

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

WOMERSLEY, H.B.S. & SINKORA, D. (1981). Sonderophycus and the type specimen of Peyssonnelia australis (Cryptonemiales, Rhodophyta). Trans. R. Soc. S. Aust. 105, 85–87.

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.

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