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Electronic Flora of South Australia Species Fact Sheet

Champia parvula (C. Agardh) Harvey 1853: 76; 1863, synop.: xxvii.

Phylum Rhodophyta – Class Florideophyceae – Order Rhodymeniales – Family Champiaceae

Selected citations: J. Agardh 1876: 303. De Toni 1900b: 558. L. Irvine & Guiry 1983: 78, fig. 23A, B. Millar 1990: 371, fig. 29G, H. Reedman & Womersley 1976: 89.


Chondria parvula C. Agardh 1824: 207.

Thallus red to red-brown, erect and spreading, 2–11 cm high, much branched with one to several axes irregularly radially branched for 3 or 4 orders. Axes and branches terete, 1–1.5 mm in diameter below, tapering gradually to branchlets 0.3–0.5 mm in diameter, young branches slightly constricted at diaphragms, segments IJD 1–1.5, ends straight, apices rounded; diaphragms distinct throughout most of thallus, obscured near older bases. Holdfast small, discoid, with occasional haustorial pads; epilithic or epiphytic on Amphibolis. Structure multiaxial, with 10–15 apical cells, developing a cortex of angular cells mostly 20–50 (–60) µm across and mostly L/B (1–) 2–3, with small cells cut off from their corners and forming a more prominent outer cortex (up to 2–3 cells thick) on older axes; longitudinal filaments peripheral only, usually with two (–3) complete cells (with secretory cells) and two part cells between the diaphragms. Rhodoplasts discoid, usually in chains.

Reproduction: Gametangial thalli dioecious. Carpogonial branches 4-celled, borne on a cortical (supporting) cell together with a 2-celled auxiliary cell branch. Carposporophyte with a basal fusion cell, branched gonimoblast filaments of ovoid cells and terminal, ovoid to obconical, carposporangia (40–) 50–90 µm in diameter. Basal nutritive tissue slight, inner cells of pericarp stellate and separating. Cystocarps scattered, subspherical to urceolate, 0.7–1.3 mm in diameter, pericarp 60–130 µm and 3–5 cells thick, ostiolate. Spermatangia covering segments near apices of young branches, cut off from branched filaments of initials, ovoid, 3–5 µm in diameter.

Tetrasporangia scattered, transformed from cortical cells, (50–) 60–120 µm in diameter, tetrahedrally divided.

Type from Cadiz, Spain; lectotype (Irvine & Guiry 1983, p. 78) in Herb. Agardh, LD, 26022.

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

Distribution: Widely reported from most temperate waters, but many records need verification.


AGARDH, C.A. (1824). Systema Algarum. (Berling: Lund.)

AGARDH, J.G. (1876). Species Genera et Ordines Algarum. Vol. 3, Part 1 — Epicrisis systematis Floridearum, pp. i-vii, 1–724. (Weigel: Leipzig.)

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

HARVEY, W.H. (1853). Nereis Boreali-Americana. Part II. — Rhodospermae. (Smithsonian Inst.: Washington.)

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

IRVINE, L.M. & GUIRY, M.D. (1983). Rhodyméniales. In Irvine, L.M. (1983). Seaweeds of the British Isles. Vol. 1 Rhodophyta Part 2A Cryptonemiales (sensu stricto), Palmariales, Rhodyméniales. (British Museum (N.H.): London).

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

REEDMAN, D.J. & WOMERSLEY, H.B.S. (1976). Southern Australian species of Champia and Chylocladia (Rhodyméniales: Rhodophyta). Trans. R. Soc. S. Aust. 100, 75–104.

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.


1. Thallus 2–4 cm high; epilithic

a. Champia parvula var. parvula

1. Thallus 3–11 cm high, densely radially branched, epiphytic on Amphibolis

b. Champia parvula var. amphibolis

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