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Zymurgia chondriopsidea (J. Agardh) Lewis & Kraft 1992: 286, figs 2–31.

Phylum Rhodophyta – Class Florideophyceae – Order Gigartinales – Family Halymeniaceae


Halymenia? chondriopsidea J. Agardh 1892: 57. De Toni 1905: 1546.

Thallus (Fig. 53D) light to medium red-brown, 5–20 (–30) cm high, much branched irregularly radially for 2–4 orders, more or less pyramidal in form, branches terete and tapering; main axes (1–) 2–3 (–4) mm in diameter, primary laterals 1–2 mm in diameter, basally constricted and generally acropetally curved, covered with short, fusiform ramuli 0.2–1 mm in diameter. Holdfast discoid, 1–3 (–5) mm across, with one to several erect axes; epilithic. Structure multiaxial with 6–10 discrete apical cells, the subapical cells cutting off single periaxial cells in orthostichous rows, cortex (Fig. 54F) becoming 3–4 cells thick, the outer cells isodiametric to slightly elongate and 3–7 (–10) µm across, with occasional hairs (Fig. 54M), the inner cells ovoid, 10–15 µm across, not becoming stellate; medulla lax, originating from the 6–10 apical filaments and branches thereof, filaments irregularly orientated; outer cells often becoming stellate; refractive ganglionic cells absent. Rhodoplasts elongate, often branched.

Reproduction: Sexual thalli dioecious. Carpogonial branches (Fig. 54G) arising from inner cortical cells, 4-celled with the subhypogynous cell the largest, without ampullary filaments but with a once or twice branched sterile lateral on the basal cell of the branch; connecting filaments (Fig. 54H) arising from the fertilized carpogonium, robust, 6–10 µm in diameter. Auxiliary cell ampullae (Fig. 54I) with a 4 (–5)-celled primary branch borne on an inner cortical cell, the auxiliary cell at first terminal, with each cell of the branch (including the auxiliary cell) issuing a simple or sparingly branched 7–8-celled secondary filament towards the surface. Connecting filaments uniting with auxiliary cell (Fig. 54J) and continuing growth. Carposporophyte with several gonimolobes of carposporangia, the basal auxiliary cell not fusing with other cells; involucre slight, consisting only of persistent ampullary filaments around the base of the carposporophyte which is encased in a distinct gelatinous sheath; ostiole (Fig. 54K) distinct, with cortical cells forming short chains around the pore. Spermatangia (Fig. 54L) cut off from outer cortical cells, with ovoid spermatia 3–5 µm in diameter.

Tetrasporangia (Fig. 54M) scattered, borne on inner cortical cells, ovoid, 20–30 µm long and 13–22 µm in diameter, cruciately divided.

Type from Tasmania (Oldfield); holotype in Herb. Agardh, LD, 22222.

Selected specimens: Cape du Couedic, Kangaroo I., S. Aust., rear reef pools (Womersley, 16.i.1965; AD, A28963). Rocky R. mouth, Kangaroo I., S. Aust., mid eulittoral pools (Womersley, 14.i.1965; AD, A28991). Pennington Bay, Kangaroo I., S. Aust., upper sublittoral on reef (Womersley, 7.i.1948; AD, A6677). Petrel Cove, Victor Harbor, S. Aust., lower eulittoral pools (Womersley, 20.xii.1964; AD, A28525 and 31.xii.1975; AD, A47028 -"Marine Algae of southern Australia" No. 351) and at low tide (G. & C. Kraft, 13.xii.1970; MELU, K3039). Robe, S. Aust., upper sublittoral pools (Womersley, 17.viii.1953; AD, A19049 and 9.x.1972; AD, A42761). Cape Lannes, S. Aust., reef pool, wave washed (Womersley, 7.xii.1991; AD, A61540). Bridgewater Bay, Vic., drift (Beauglehole, 26.xii.1950; AD, A15655). Warrnambool, Vic., drift (Kraft & Herrington, 6.xi.1989; MELU, A38175). Portsel, Vic., 4–5 m deep (Kraft & Huisman, 18.ix.1980; MELU, K7073). Hinders, Vic., 6 m deep (Kraft, 23.iv.1993; MELU, A40666). Taroona, Tas., uppermost sublittoral (Sanderson, 24.xi.1991; AD, A61528).

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

Distribution: Cape du Couedic, Kangaroo I., S. Aust. to Flinders, Vic., and SE Tasmania.

Taxonomic notes: Zymurgia chondriopsidea is usually common where it occurs, but is known only from limited localities, in low rock pools or just below low tide level under moderate to strong wave wash. While known until 1948 only from the type from Tasmania, it was re-collected in 1948 on Kangaroo I. and soon after from Petrel Cove in South Australia and recognised as a distinctive taxon of the Halymeniaceae.


AGARDH, J.G. (1892). Analecta Algologica. Acta Univ. lund. 28, 1–182, Plates 1–3.

DE TONI, G.B. (1905). Sylloge Algarum omnium hucusque Cognitarum. Vol. 4. Florideae. Sect. 4, pp. 1523–1973. (Padua.)

LEWIS, J.A. & KRAFT, G.T. (1992). Zymurgia, a new genus of Halymeniaceae (Gigartinales, Rhodophyta) from south-eastern Australia. Phycologia 31, 285–299.

The Marine Benthic Flora of Southern Australia Part IIIA complete list of references.

Author: H.B.S. Womersley & J.A. Lewis

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 53D, 54 F–M.

Figure 53 image

Figure 53   enlarge

Fig. 53. A, B. Cryptonemia undulata (AD, A18754). A. Habit. B. Transverse section of tetrasporangial thallus. C. Cryptonemia kallymenioides (AD, A51043). Habit. D. Zymurgia chondriopsidea (D, AD, A47028). Habit. E–H. Cryptonemia nitophylloides (E, MELU, A39915; F, MELU, A39629; G, NSW, A7036; H, MELU, A39635). E. Habit. F. Transverse section of thallus. G. Transverse section of thallus with an auxiliary cell ampulla. H. Section of thallus with a young carposporophyte. (E–H, Photos: J.A. Lewis).

Figure 54 image

Figure 54   enlarge

Fig. 54. A–C. Cryptonemia undulata (A, MELU, A40611; B, MELU, A40613; C, AD, A18754). A. Carpogonial branch ampulla (by J.A. Lewis). B. Auxiliary cell ampulla (by J.A. Lewis). C. Section of cortex with tetrasporangia. D, E. Cryptonemia kallymenioides (D, AD, A18513; E, AD, A59774). D. Auxiliary cell ampulla, with a possible connecting filament passing left. E. Section of cortex with tetrasporangia. F–M. Zymurgia chondriopsidea (MELU, K3039). F. Transverse section of cortex and outer medulla. G. Mature carpogonial branch, with the basal cell bearing a sterile cortical branch. H. Fertilized carpogonium with four connecting filaments. I. Mature auxiliary cell ampulla. J. Young gonimoblast following fusion of connecting filament with an auxiliary cell. K. Surface view of ostiole with surrounding 1-2-celled chains of cells. L. Spermatangia borne on outer cortical cells. M. Section of outer cortex with a tetrasporangium and hair. [F–M after Lewis & Kraft 1992.]

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