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Botryocladia sonderi Silva 1996:355.*

Phylum Rhodophyta – Class Florideophyceae – Order Rhodymeniales – Family Rhodymeniaceae


Chrysymenia obovata Sonder 1848: 176; 1853: 677; 1881: 18. J. Agardh 1872: 19; 1876: 324. De Toni 1900b: 544. Harvey 1849a: 77; 1855a: 556; 1858, pl. 10; 1859b: 327. Lucas & Perrin 1947: 203, fig. 67. Tisdall 1898: 506. Wilson 1892: 179.

Gastroclonium obovatum (Sonder) Kützing 1849: 865; 1865: 35, pl. 99a-f.

Botryocladia obovata (Sonder) Kylin 1931: 18. G. Feldmann 1945: 57, fig. 1. Guiler 1952: 93. Huisman & Walker 1990: 415. May 1965: 360. Womersley 1950: 174; 1953: 38; 1966: 150.

Halymenia botryoides Richard 1834: 145. J. Agardh 1851: 214.

Thallus (Fig. 15A) dark red-brown, 10–30 cm high, rigid and cartilaginous, with sparsely and irregularly branched, solid, terete, main branches 1–1.5 mm in diameter, bearing radially ovoid to obovoid, hollow, membranous, vesicular laterals 5–20 (–25) mm long and 3–10 (–14) mm in diameter, usually closely adjacent and each with a short, narrow, stipe, lost from lower axes with the stipe remnant remaining. Holdfast discoid, 2–10 mm across; epilithic. Structure multiaxial, branches solid with a small-celled cortex 3–6 cells thick, outer cells ovoid, 4–8 µm in diameter, grading to a larger-celled medulla, cells 40–80 µm in diameter and L/D 1–3 in longitudinal section, with frequent secondary pit-connections. Vesicular laterals with a continuous cortex 2–3 cells thick, outer cells ovoid, 4–10 µm in diameter, grading rapidly to a medulla 2–3 cells thick, the inner cells rounded, 40–65 µm across, lengthwise L/D 1–3, these larger cells cutting off smaller inner cells over their joint walls forming rosettes which become 3–5 cells broad. Secretory cells (Fig. 15B) scattered, sparse, on inner larger medullary cells, single or in groups of 2–4 (–9), subspherical, 30–40 µm in diameter, with a thick gelatinous wall. Rhodoplasts discoid.

Reproduction: Gametangial thalli probably dioecious. Carpogonial branches and auxiliary cell branches unknown. Carposporophyte (Fig. 15C) with an erect, basal, fusion cell producing dense, compact, lobes of carposporangia 8–12 µm in diameter. Basal nutritive tissue broad and shallowly concave, erect filaments (which disintegrate) continuing to anticlinal pericarpic filaments. Cystocarps 0.8–1.3 mm across, protruding both outwardly and into the vesicle, with an outer pericarp 150–250 µm and 10–12 cells thick, ostiolate. Spermatangia unknown.

Tetrasporangia in shallow nemathecia (Fig. 15D) over the vesicles, the sporangia (Fig. 15E) lying among elongate outer cortical cells (L/D 2–6), basally pit-connected to inner cortical cells and with slight pit-connections to the outer cells, ovoid, 25–45 µm long and 15–25 µm in diameter, decussately or cruciately divided.

Type from W. Aust. (Preiss); holotype in MEL, 504344.

Selected specimens: Port Denison, W. Aust., 1–5 m deep on jetty (Kraft, 14.xii.1971; AD, A41169). Cowaramup Bay, W. Aust., 2–3 m deep (Clarke & Engler, 1.ix.1979; AD, A50652). Emu Beach, King George Sound, W. Aust., drift (Mitchell, 27.ix.1966; AD, A30818). Point Sinclair, S. Aust., drift (Womersley, 25.i.1951; AD, A13872). Waldegrave I., S. Aust., 22 m deep (Shepherd, 23.x.1970; AD, A37394). N Spencer Gulf, S. Aust., 6 m deep (Shepherd, 5.ix.1973; AD, A44179). Tiparra reef, S. Aust., 6 m deep (Shepherd, 24.v.1969; AD, A34914). Port Moorowie, Yorke Pen., S. Aust., 2–3 m deep (Cannon, 7.i.1989; AD, A59848). Somerton Beach, S. Aust., drift (Womersley, 4.iii.1944; AD, A1635). Aldinga, S. Aust., drift (Womersley, 28.v.1994; AD, A63569). Bay of Shoals, Kangaroo I., S. Aust., 3 m deep (Womersley, 5.i.1990; AD, A60124). American R. inlet, Kangaroo I., S. Aust., drift (Womersley, 5.ix.1946; AD, A4005). Vivonne Bay, Kangaroo I., S. Aust., just below low tide level (Womersley, 15.i.1947; AD, A4252). Robe, S. Aust., drift (Womersley, 25.v.1963; AD, A26515). Dutton Bay, Portland, Vic., drift (Womersley, 13.iv.1959; AD, A22671). Corio Bay, Vic., 12 m deep (Macpherson, 17.v.1963; AD, A28809). Point Lonsdale, Vic., upper sublittoral (Womersley, 21.i.1967; AD, A31718). San Remo, Vic., drift (Sinkora A846, 6.ix.1970; AD, A62598). N Waratah Bay, Vic., drift (Sinkora A2561, 15.iii.1979; AD, A60979). Georgetown, Tas., upper sublittoral (Womersley, 29.i.1949; AD, A10257).

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

Distribution: Port Denison, W. Aust., to N Waratah Bay, Vic., and the N coast of Tasmania.

Taxonomic notes: In describing Chrysymenia obovata as a new species, Sonder cited also Cigartina ovata Lamouroux (1813, p. 136, pl. 4 fig. 7) and Chondria ovalis var. B obovata C. Agardh (1822, p. 349). Lamouroux's type is Claviclonium ovatum (Lamouroux) Kraft & Min-Thein (1983, p. 172). Silva is discussing and renaming the well known B. obovata (Sonder) Kylin as B. sonderi. Halymenia botryoides Richard is almost certainly the same as B. australis, but the epithet cannot be transferred to Botryocladia since Botryocladia botryoides (Wulfen) J. Feldmann (1941, p. 90) is recognised as a separate species from the Mediterranean.

B. sonderi is a common species on most southern Australian coasts, from rough-water situations to calm areas with a strong current flow, and from low tide level to 24 m deep. Plants are often denuded of ramuli except near the apices, and commonly are heavily overgrown with encrusting coralline and other algae.

* This name, to replace the misapplied name B. obovata (Sonder) Kylin, is being proposed by Dr P.C. Silva in his "Indian Ocean Catalogue", scheduled for publication in 1996.


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

Author: H.B.S. Womersley

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. 15.

Figure 15 image

Figure 15   enlarge

Fig. 15. Botryocladia sonderi (A–C, AD, A59848; D, AD, A63569; E, AD, A34914). A. Habit. B. Section of thallus with internal secretory cells. C. Section of cystocarp. D. Surface view of margin of tetrasporangial nemathecium. E. Section of tetrasporangial nemathecium.

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