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Electronic Flora of South Australia Species Fact Sheet

Delisea pulchra (Greville) Montagne 1844: 158.

Phylum Rhodophyta – Class Florideophyceae – Order Bonnemaisoniales – Family Bonnemaisoniaceae

Selected citations: J. Agardh 1852: 784; 1876: 671. Bonin & Hawkes 1988a: 627, figs 29–31. De Toni 1900b: 763. Guiler 1952: 85. Harvey 1849: 89, pl. 34 lower; 1858: pl. 16; 1859b: 305. Hooker 1847: 484. Huisman & Walker 1990: 399. Kützing 1849: 770; 1868: 24, pl. 68a-c. Lucas 1929b: 50. Lucas & Perrin 1947: 241, figs 105, 106. May 1965: 374. Millar 1990: 381, fig. 36. Millar & Kraft 1993: 34. Reinbold 1897: 55. Ricker 1987: 161, fig. 69. Silva 1957: 143. Sonder 1881: 30. Tisdall 1898: 512. Wilson 1892: 169. Womersley 1950: 163.


Bowiesia pulchra Greville 1830: lvii. Kützing 1843: 408.

Calocladia pulchra (Greville) Greville in Lindley 1835: 436.

Bonnemaisonia pulchra (Greville) Endlicher 1843: 44.

Delisea fimbriata sensu J. Agardh 1852: 785; 1876: 672. Chapman 1969: 84, pl. 23. De Toni 1900b: 764. Kützing 1849: 771; 1868: 24, pl. 68d-1. Levring 1953: 521, figs 52–55A, B. J. Lewis 1984: 5. Montagne 1844: 158, pl. 11 fig. 1. Sonder 1881: 30. [NON Fucus fimbriatus R. Brown ex Turner (1811: 88, pl. 170) = Vidalia fimbriata (Turner) J. Agardh (1863: 1124), from northern Australia].

Delisea serrata Kützing 1849: 771; 1868: 24, pl. 69d, e. J. Agardh 1852: 784; 1876: 671. De Toni 1900b: 763. Guiler 1952: 85. Sonder 1881: 30.

Delesseria fimbriata Lamouroux 1813: 124, pl. 3 fig. 1.

Thallus (Fig. 154A) medium to dark red-brown, fading to yellow-grey, 10–35 cm high, much branched complanately from the margins, branches compressed, axes 500–800 µm broad, with regular, alternate, evenly spaced, acute, compressed marginal spinous ramuli (0.5–) 1–2 (–3) mm long, basal width 250–400 µm, tapering evenly, axes becoming thickened and terete below, (1–) 2–3 mm in diameter near the holdfast, often denuded below. Holdfast discoid, 2–8 mm across, usually with a single stipe; epilithic. Structure uniaxial (Fig. 154B), with a small apical cell, the subapical cell(s) each cutting off two pairs of lateral and transverse periaxial cells, the first pair forming the more strongly developed lateral periaxial filament on alternate sides and developing into the lateral spinous ramuli, with the opposite lateral filament passing towards the sinus between spines and the transverse periaxial cells contributing to the cortex. Spinous ramuli closely adjacent near apices, becoming separated below. Main branches becoming 8–15 (–26) cells thick, the axial filament 50–140 µm in diameter with a surrounding sheath of small cells, the inner cortical cells ovoid, 25–50 µm in diameter and with intermixed small rhizoidal cells, outer cortical cells 4–6 µm in diameter, with scattered, larger, subsurface cells not covered by outer cells and appearing "gland like" in surface view with a rosette of outer cells. Rhodoplasts discoid, numerous per cell, often ribbon like in inner cells.

Reproduction: Gametangial thalli monoecious or dioecious. Carpogonial branches unknown. Carposporophyte (Fig. 154C) with a basal fusion cell, a tuft of branched, slender, gonimoblast filaments, and terminal elongate-ovoid carposporangia 20–45 µm in diameter. Cystocarps on the flat surface near branch ends, sessile, 0.5–1 mm in diameter, with a thick pericarp and an ostiole directed forwards and outwards. Spermatangial sori (Fig. 154D) on broadened branch ends, with the outer cortical cells each cutting off several elongate, tapering, spermatangia 2–3 µm in diameter (Fig. 154E).

Tetrasporangial plants with prominent, raised, nemathecia (Fig. 154F) 50–90 µm thick, near branch ends, tetrasporangia (Fig. 154G) elongate-ovoid, 30–55 µm long and 10–15 µm in diameter, obliquely divided, among elongate-clavate unicellular (rarely 2-celled) paraphyses 50–65 µm long and 6–11 µm in diameter; paraphyses often cutting off several small cells apically.

Type from "Novam Hollandiam" (Fraser); holotype in Herb. Greville, E. (See also Millar 1990, p. 382 and Ricker 1987, p. 161).

Selected specimens: Dongara, W. Aust., drift (Wood, 2.x.1960; AD, A24556). Torpedo Rocks, S of Yallingup, W. Aust., drift (Royce 574; AD, A15488). Cannan Reefs (S of Isles of St Francis), S. Aust., 20–25 m deep (Branden, 21.i.1991; AD, A61193). Hopkins I., S. Aust., 25 m deep (Branden, 17 .xi.1990; AD, A60844). Amphitheatre Rock, West I., S. Aust., 19–23 m deep (Shepherd, 1.i.1969; AD, A33247). Port Elliot, S. Aust., drift (Womersley, 31.xii.1993; AD, A63247). Seal Bay, Kangaroo I., S. Aust., drift (Womersley, 24.i.1957; AD, A20766). South West Rock, S of Kangaroo I., S. Aust., 15–36 m deep (Branden, 18.vi.1991; AD, A61433). Cape Buffon, S. Aust., 5 m deep (Kildea Collings, 27.ix.1992; AD, A61769). Port MacDonnell, S. Aust., drift (Kraft 3863, 2.ix.1971; MELU). Portland, Vic., 10–13 m deep (Kraft 6327, 30.xii.1976; MELU). Dinghy Cove, Lady Julia Percy I., Vic., 8–11 m deep (Shepherd, 3.i.1968; AD, A32467 -"Marine Algae of southern Australia" No. 77a). Gabo I., Vic., 13 m deep (Shepherd, 14.ii.1973; AD, A43325). Bluestone Bay, Freycinet Pen., Tas., 6 m deep (Brown & McGeary, 4.xi.1982; AD, A56272), Pebbly Beach (N of Batemans Bay), NSW., upper sublittoral pools (Womersley, 15.i.1964; AD, A28038). Byron Bay, N.S.W., 6 m deep (Silvester, 21.vii.1973; AD, A43879). Stradbroke I., Qld., 10–25 m deep (Watson, 24.viii.1975; AD, A46546). Caloundra, Qld., drift (McKeon, 30.iv.1949; AD, A16628).

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

Distribution: Dongara, W. Aust., around southern Australia and Tasmania to Caloundra, Qld.

New Zealand; Subantarctic Islands; Antarctic Peninsula.

Taxonomic notes: Delisea pulchra is a common species on southern Australian coasts, and tetrasporangial plants are not uncommon (A28038, A32467, A56272, A56608 and A61769 above). Only a few male plants (e.g. A20766, Kraft 3863) have been seen.

D. pulchra is superficially similar in habit to species of Phacelocarpus in the Gigartinales and to Rhodocallis in the Ceramiaceae but distinct in structure.

D. pulchra (as D. fimbriata) has been recorded from Japan (see Chihara 1962, p. 27, figs 20–22,23–27 and Chihara & Yoshizaki 1971, p. 149, figs 1, 2) but these authors show that the Japanese species lacks a tetrasporophyte and the life history thus differs from the southern hemisphere plants. The Japanese species had been renamed as D. japonica by Okamura (1908, p. 139, pl. 39) and this is supported by Bonin & Hawkes (1988a, p. 631) and by Yoshida et al. (1990, p. 288).


AGARDH, J.G. (1852). Species Genera et Ordines Algarum. Vol. 2, Part 2, pp. 337–720. (Gleerup: Lund.)

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

BONIN, D.R. & HAWKES, M.W. (1988a). Systematics and life histories of New Zealand Bonnemaisoniaceae (Bonnemaisoniales, Rhodophyta): H. The genus Delisea. N.Z. J. Bot. 26, 619–632.

CHAPMAN, V.J. (1969). The marine algae of New Zealand. Part III: Rhodophyceae. Issue 1: Bangiophycidae and Florideophycidae (Nemalionales, Bonnemaisoniales, Gélidiales), pp. 1–113, Plates 1–38. (Cramer: Germany.)

CHIHARA, M. & YOSHIZAKI, M. (1971). Morphological study of the thallus structure and reproductive organs of Delisea fimbriata (Florideophycidae, Rhodophyta). Phycologia 10, 149–154.

CHIHARA, M. (1962). Life cycle of Bonnemaisoniaceous algae in Japan (2). Sci. Rep. Tokyo Kyoiku Daigaku. Sect. B, 11, 27–54, Plates 7–11.

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

ENDLICHER, S.L. (1843). Genera plantarum secundum ordines naturales disposita. Suppl. 3 (Beck: Wien.)

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HOOKER, J.D. (1847). The Botany of the Antarctic Voyage. I. Flora Antarctica. Part Algae, pp. 454–502, Plates 165–194. (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.

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LAMOUROUX, J.V.F. (1813). Essai sur les genres de la famille des thalassiophytes non articulées. Ann. Mus. Hist. Nat., Paris 20, 21–47, 115–139, 267–293, Plates 7–13 (1–7).

LEVRING, T. (1953). The marine algae of Australia. I. Rhodophyta: Goniotrichales, Bangiales and Nemalionales. Arkiv för Bot. Ser. 2, 2, 457–530.

LEWIS, J.A. (1984). Checklist and bibliography of benthic marine macroalgae recorded from northern Australia. I. Rhodophyta. Dept. Defence, Materials Res. Lab., Melbourne, Vic. Report MRL-R-912.

LINDLEY, J. (1835). An introduction to botany. Edn 2. (London.)

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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. & KRAFT, G.T. (1993). Catalogue of Marine and Freshwater Red Algae (Rhodophyta) of New South Wales, including Lord Howe Island, South-western Pacific. Aust. Syst. Bot. 6, 1–90.

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

MONTAGNE, C. (1844). Quelques observations touchant la structure et la fruitification des genres Ctenodus, Delisia et Lenormandia, de la famille des Floridées. Ann. Sci. Nat. Sér. 3, Bot. 1, 151–161, Plates 10, 11.

OKAMURA, K. (1908). Icones of Japanese Algae. Vol. 1, No. 6, pp. 121–146, Plates 26–30.

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

WILSON, J.B. (1892). Catalogue of algae collected at or near Port Phillip Heads and Western Port. Proc. R. Soc. Vict. 4, 157–190.

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YOSHIDA, T., NAKAJIMA, Y. & NAKATA, Y. (1990). Check-list of marine algae of Japan (revised in 1990). Jap. J. Phycol. (SO rui) 38, 269–320.

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. 154.

Figure 154 image

Figure 154   enlarge

Fig. 154. Delisea pulchra (A, C, G, AD, A32467; B, AD, A63247; D, E, AD, A20766; F, AD, A43325). A. Habit. B. Branch apex. C. Carposporophyte with basal fusion cell, branched gonimoblast filaments and ovoid carposporangia. D. Branch end with spermatangial sorus. E. Transverse section of branch with spermatangial sorus. F. Tetrasporangial sorus on branch end. G. Transverse section of branch with tetrasporangial sorus.

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