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Stictosporum nitophylloides (Harvey) J. Agardh 1890a: 25, pl. 1 fig. 1.

Phylum Rhodophyta – Class Florideophyceae – Order Gigartinales – Family Cystocloniaceae

Selected citations: De Toni 1900: 505. Kylin 1931: 34; 1932: 53, fig. 15. Searles 1968, 64, figs 28, 29, pl. 12.


Rhodophyllis nitophylloides Harvey 1863: pl. 258.

Thallus (Fig. 149E) erect, medium to dark red or red-brown, firm and drying cartilaginous, 8–15 cm high, complanately and subdichotomously branched at intervals of 1–4 cm, with occasional proliferations near the base, branches (3–) 5–10 (–15) mm broad, 180–300 µm thick, axils rounded, margins throughout with evenly spaced spinous ramuli 0.5–1 mm long, branch apices broad and rounded. Holdfast discoid, 1–3 mm across; epilithic. Structure uniaxial, with a small apical cell in an apical notch, with each axial cell producing two periaxial cells, the alternating lateral ones producing filaments and the short transverse ones contributing to the cortex; axial filament soon indistinguishable. Medulla weakly developed, with a few elongate cells and rhizoids, cortex usually two cells thick with large, polyhedral outer cells (Fig. 150D), without rosettes but with groups of small cells bearing hairs. Rhodoplasts discoid, numerous per cell.

Reproduction: Sexual thalli probably dioecious; procarpic. Carpogonial branches 3-celled, borne laterally on an inner supporting cell which bears several branched, small-celled filaments, with the basal cell of one filament serving as the auxiliary cell; gonimoblast initial produced outwardly. Carposporophyte (Fig. 149F) with basal auxiliary and other cells with radiating gonimoblast filaments with branched chains of ovoid to angular carposporangia 25–55 µm in diameter, with the pericarp formed of branched anticlinal rows of small cells on both sides. Cystocarps swelling the thallus on both sides, 0.8–1.2 mm across, ostiolate on one side. Spermatangia unknown.

Tetrasporangia (Fig. 150D) scattered in the cortex, transformed from inner cortical cells and pit-connected basally, ovoid, 75–110 µm in diameter, zonately divided.

Type from Garden I., W. Aust. (Clifton); lectotype in Herb. Harvey, TCD.

Selected specimens: Nuyts Reef, S. Aust., 28–30 m deep (Shepherd, 26.iii.1980; AD, A52314). "Hotspot", 8 km NW of Flinders I., S. Aust., 25 m deep (Shepherd, 15.iv.1983; AD, A54023). 4 km W of Waldegrave I., S. Aust., 30 m deep (Branden, 3.vii.1987; AD, A57600). Elliston, S. Aust., drift (Womersley, 13.i.1951; AD, A13567). D'Estrees Bay, Kangaroo I., S. Aust., drift (Kraft, 5.iv.1972; AD, A42429).

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

Distribution: Garden I., W. Aust., to D'Estrees Bay, Kangaroo I., S. Aust.

Taxonomic notes: Stictosporum nitophylloides is a distinctive, deep water alga of western affinities.


AGARDH, J.G. (1890a). Till algemes systematik. Acta Univ. lund. 26(3), 1–125, Plates 1–3.

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

HARVEY, W.H. (1863). Phycologia Australica. Vol. 5, Plates 241–300, synop., pp. i-lxxiii. (Reeve: London.)

KYLIN, H. (1931). Die Florideenordnung Rhodymeniales. Lunds Univ. Årsskr. N.F. Avd. 2, 27 (11), 1–48, Plates 1–20.

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

SEARLES, R.B. (1968). Morphological studies of red algae of the order Gigartinales. Univ. Calif Pubis Bot. 43, vi + 1–86, Plates 1–12.

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 149E, F, 150D.

Figure 149 image

Figure 149   enlarge

Fig. 149. A–D. Gloiophyllis barkeriae (A, AD, A60819; B, AD, A57050; C, AD, A20071; D, AD, A2905). A. Habit. B. Surface view of rosettes (with veins and tetrasporangia). C. Section of cystocarp with a central cell and chains of carposporangia. D. Cross section of thallus with tetrasporangia. E, F. Stictosporum nitophylloides (E, AD, A54023; F, AD, A57600). E. Habit. F. Transverse section of cystocarp showing central cell, chains of carposporangia and ostiole.

Figure 150 image

Figure 150   enlarge

Fig. 150. A–C. Gloiophyllis barkeriae (A, B, AD, A37827; C, AD, A2905). A. Section of cortex with a carpogonial branch. B. Section of young carposporophyte (and thallus, on left) with central cells and radiating gonimoblast filaments. C. Section of thallus with tetrasporangia. D. Stictosporum nitophylloides (AD, A13567). Cross section of thallus with tetrasporangia. [A–C after MM-Thein & Womersley 1976.]

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