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Electronic Flora of South Australia Species Fact Sheet

Amphiroa anceps (Lamarck) Decaisne 1842b: 125.

Phylum Rhodophyta – Class Florideophyceae – Order Corallinales – Family Corallinaceae – Subfamily Amphiroideae – Tribe Amphiroeae

Selected citations: Adams 1994: 160, pl. 55 upper left. Areschoug 1852: 536. Chapman & Parkinson 1974: 172. De Toni 1905: 1815. Ganesan 1968: 7, figs 1, 2, 5–7, 12–20, pl. 1 figs 3, 4. Harvey 1849a: 98, pl. 37 lower. Huisman & Walker 1990: 411. Kützing 1849: 702; 1858: 24, pl. 49 fig. IV. May 1965: 357. Millar 1990: 315, fig. 9. Sonder 1881: 20. Weber-van Bosse 1904: 93, pl. 16 figs 6–8.


Corallina anceps Lamarck 1815: 238.

Amphiroa dilatata Lamouroux 1816: 299. Areschoug 1852: 536. De Toni 1905: 1815. Harvey 1849a: 97. Kützing 1849: 703; 1858: 25, pl. 50 fig. II. Sonder 1853: 687. Yendo 1902: 12, pl. 1 figs 17–21, pl. 5 fig. 4.

Amphiroa galaxauroides Sonder 1848: 188; 1881: 20. Kützing 1849: 703; 1858: 25, pl. 51 fig. I.

Amphiroa nobilis Kützing 1849: 703; 1858: 25, pl. 51 fig. II. Areschoug 1852: 541. De Toni 1905: 1821.

Galaxaura versicolor Sonder 1845: 50.

?Amphiroa beauvoisii Lamouroux sensu King et al. 1971: 121. Woelkerling 1988: fig. 43.

Amphiroa ephedraea (Lamarck) Decaisne sensu Harvey 1863, synop.: xxix. Lucas 1929b: 53. Saenger 1974: 80. Tisdall 1898: 507.

Thallus (Fig. 130A) medium red-purple, often fading to grey-red in shallow-water plants, 2–10 (–15) cm high, often tufted and much branched dichotomously (rarely with small proliferations) from the upper end of each intergeniculum, branching essentially complanate, intergenicula more or less terete near the base, compressed to flat above and 4–10 (–15) mm long, (0.5–) 1–3 (–4) mm broad and (300–) 500–1000 µm thick centrally, edges thinner and more or less sharp-edged, margins parallel to slightly broader above, calcification over genicula closer near the margins. Holdfast crustose, 2–10 mm across, bearing numerous fronds; epilithic. Structure multiaxial. Intergenicula (Fig. 130B, C) consisting of numerous curved tiers of medullary cells with the filaments splaying laterally, with lateral secondary pit-connections between the medullary cells forming arcs across the intergenicula; medulla with tiers of shorter cells (10–25 µm long) separating every 2–5 tiers of longer cells (40–70 µm long), all 8–15 µm in diameter, ends rounded and separated when decalcified. Genicula (Fig. 130D) with the upper and lower margins not corresponding to the ends of cell tiers, of similar structure to intergenicula but cell walls more darkly staining. Cortex compact, extending from outer cells of the medullary filaments, cortical filaments of 3–8 isodiametric or slightly elongate cells 7–12 µm in diameter, with terminal epithallial cells; usually thicker near tetrasporangial conceptacles. Apices of branches (Fig. 130C) with meristematic cells surmounted with small epithallial cells. Rhodoplasts discoid.

Reproduction: Conceptacles uniporate, mostly on the surface of one side of the intergenicula. Gametangial thalli dioecious. Female conceptacles (Ganesan 1968, p. 12, fig. 19) 400–800 µm in external diameter and 128–160 µm high; carposporophyte with a broad, thin fusion cell bearing marginal short chains of ovoid carposporangia 25–30 µm in diameter. Male conceptacles (Ganesan 1968, p. 14, fig. 19) inconspicuous, 400–450 µm in external diameter, with spermatangia cut off from initials on the chamber floor, ovoid, 1.5–3 µm in diameter.

Tetrasporangial conceptacles (Fig. 130E) prominent, 250–500 µm in external diameter, with a central tuft of elongate cells and tetrasporangia lying between similar cells, elongate-ovoid, 20–50 µm in diameter, zonately divided or often as bisporangia.

Type from "Nouvelle-Hollande" (Peron & Lesueur); holotype in PC.

Selected specimens: Off Hillarys Boat Harbour, Sorrento, W. Aust., 6 m deep (AIMS-NCI, Q66C 2614–1, 12.iii.1989; AD, A59759). Whitford Beach, Perth, W. Aust., 6 m deep (Cook, 20.viii.1979; AD, A50557). Strickland Bay, Rottnest I., W. Aust., 1–2 m deep (Clarke & Engler, 5.ix.1979; AD, A51114). Green I., Rottnest I., W. Aust., upper sublittoral (Parsons, 11.xi.1968; AD, A33339). Cowaramup Bay, W. Aust., 2–3 m deep (Clarke & Engler, 1.ix.1979; AD, A50647). Twin Rocks, Head of Great Australian Bight, S. Aust., 20–22 m deep (Branden, 19.i.1991; AD, A61131). Masillon I., Isles of St Francis, S. Aust., 13–18 m deep (Shepherd, 5.i.1971; AD, A38009). Smooth Pool, W of Streaky Bay, S. Aust., upper sublittoral (Johansen 81–10–14a, 25.x.1981; AD, A52755). Louth Bay, S. Aust., upper sublittoral (Womersley, 5.i.1951; AD, A13831). Port Noarlunga, S. Aust., on off-shore reef (Womersley, 21.x.1944; AD, A1681). Aldinga, S. Aust., upper sublittoral pools (Clarke & Engler, 29.x.1981; AD, A52701). Judith Cove, West I., S. Aust., 3–4 m deep (Shepherd, 19.vi.1995; AD, A64304). Cape du Couedic, Kangaroo I., S. Aust., sublittoral fringe (Womersley, 12.i.1948; AD, A7013). Between Knob Point and Cape Cassini, Kangaroo I., S. Aust., 8 m deep (AIMS-NCI, Q66C 2173-C, 29.i.1989; AD, A59689). Warrnambool, Vic., upper sublittoral (Womersley, 13.iv.1959; AD, A22892). Port Phillip Heads, Vic., in pools (Sinkora A942, 8.xi.1970; AD, A62565). Walkerville, Vic., in large pool (Sinkora A1776, 21.xi.1973; AD, A53478).

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

Distribution: All around Australia except for Tasmania, but less frequent in SE S. Aust. and Victoria.

Widespread in the Indo-Pacific.

Taxonomic notes: Amphiroa anceps, with its flat branches, is a distinctive species but plants vary considerably in width of the intergenicula. Broader branches (e.g. AD, A59759) appear to occur in deeper water (or shaded) habitats in Western Australia, with narrow ones in shallow water (e.g. AD, A52755).

While A. anceps is common in warmer waters, it extends along the southern Australian coast but has not been recorded from Tasmania. The European A. beauvoisii Lamouroux has been recorded from Port Phillip Heads, Vic., by King et al. (1971, p. 121) and from Port Fairy, Vic., 4.i.1979 (LTB, 11707) by Woelkerling (1988, fig. 43). These records probably apply to A. anceps. Records of the tropical A. ephedraea probably also apply to A. anceps; Weber van-Bosse (1904, p. 93) placed Harvey's record from N.S.W. as A. anceps.

The very regular tiers of cells, and the lateral pit-connections, indicate that both the cells and pit-connections are formed sequentially near the branch apices. Sexual thalli have not been recorded in southern Australian plants.


ADAMS, N.M. (1994). Seaweeds of New Zealand. (Cant. Univ. Press: Christchurch.)

ARESCHOUG, J.E. (1852). Ordo XII. Corallineae. In J.G. Agardh, "Species, Genera et Ordines Algarum". Vol. 2, Part 2, pp. 506–576. (Gleerup: Lund.)

CHAPMAN, V.J. & PARKINSON, P.G. (1974). The marine algae of New Zealand. Part III: Rhodophyceae. Issue 3: Cryptonemiales, pp. 155–278, Plates 51–94. (Cramer: Germany.)

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

DECAISNE, J. (1842b). Mémoire sur les Corallines ou Polypiers calcifères. Ann. Sci. Nat., 2 Sér. Bot., 18, 96–128. ,

GANESAN, E.K. (1968). Studies on the morphology and reproduction of the articulated corallines - III. Amphiroa Lamouroux emend. Weber-van Bosse. Phykos 6, 7–28, Plate 1.

HARVEY, W.H. (1849a). Nereis Australis, pp. 65–124, Plates 26–50. (Reeve: London.)

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

HUISMAN, J.M. & WALKER, D.I. (1990). A catalogue of the marine plants of Rottnest Island, Western Australia, with notes on their distribution and biogeography. Kingia 1, 349–459.

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

KÜTZING, F.T. (1858). Tabulae Phycologicae. Vol. 8. (Nordhausen.)

KING, R.J., BLACK, J.H. & DUCKER, S.C. (1971). Intertidal ecology of Port Phillip Bay with systematic lists of plants and animals. Mem. Nat. Mus. Vic. 32, 93–128, charts 1, 2.

LAMARCK, J.B. (1815). Sur les polypiers corticifères. Mém. Mus. Hist. Nat. (Paris) 2, 76–240.

LAMOUROUX, J.V.F. (1816). Histoire des Polypiers Coralligènes Flexibles. (Poisson: Caen.)

LUCAS, A.H.S. (1929b). A census of the marine algae of South Australia. Trans. R. Soc. S. Aust. 53, 45–53.

MAY, V. (1965). A census and key to the species of Rhodophyceae (red algae) recorded from Australia. Contr. N.S.W. natn. Herb. 3, 349–429.

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

SAENGER, P. (1974). Natural History of the Hogan Group. 2. Some marine algae from Hogan Island, Bass Strait, with an account of the marine zonation. Pap. Proc. R. Soc. Tas. 107, 73–81.

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. (1848). Algae. In Lehmann, C., Plantae Preissianae. Vol. 2, pp. 161–195. (Hamburg.)

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

SONDER, O.W. (1881). In Mueller, F., Fragmenta Phytographiae Australiae. Supplementum ad volumen undecinum: Algae Australianae hactenus cognitae, pp. 1–42, 105–107. (Melbourne.)

TISDALL, H.T. (1898). The algae of Victoria. Rep. 7th Meet. Aust. Ass. Adv. Sci., Sydney, 1898, pp. 493–516.

WEBER-VAN BOSSE, A. (1904). Corallineae verae of the Malay Archipelago. In Weber-van Bosse & Foslie, M., The Corallinaceae of the Siboga Expedition. Siboga-Expeditae, Monogr. LXI, pp. 78–110, Plates 14–16. (Leiden.)

WOELKERLING, Wm.J. (1988). The Coralline Red Algae. [British Museum (N.H.): London.]

YENDO, K. (1902). Corallinae verae of Port Renfrew. Minn. Bot. Stud. 2, 711–722, Plates 51–56.

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

Author: H.B.S. Womersley & H.W. Johansen

Publication: Womersley, H.B.S. (28 June, 1996)
The Marine Benthic Flora of Southern Australia
Rhodophyta. Part IIIB. Gracilarialse, Rhodymeniales, Corallinales and Bonnemaisoniales
Reproduced with permission from The Marine Benthic Flora of Southern Australia Part IIIB 1996, by H.B.S. Womersley. Australian Biological Resources Study, Canberra. Copyright Commonwealth of Australia.

Illustration in Womersley Part IIIA, 1996: FIG. 130.

Figure 130 image

Figure 130   enlarge

Fig. 130. Amphiroa anceps (A, AD, A64304; B–D, AD, A52701; E, AD, A13831). A. Habit. B. Longitudinal section of branch apex showing long and short tiers and arcs of lateral pit-connections. C. As for B, enlarged. D. Longitudinal section of intergeniculum (upper) and geniculum (lower) with boundary of decalcification lying across the cell tiers. E. Longitudinal section through tetrasporangial conceptacles.

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