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Genus ERYTHRYMENIA Schmitz ex Mazza 1921: 107

Phylum Rhodophyta – Class Florideophyceae – Order Rhodymeniales – Family Rhodymeniaceae

Thallus erect, ovate to foliose, solid and relatively thick, margin smooth or spinous, branched only from the short stipe or discoid holdfast. Structure multiaxial, developing a small-celled cortex of anticlinal chains of 2–5 cells and medulla several cells broad, of large cells with intermixed smaller cells.

Reproduction: Gametangial thalli dioecious. Carpogonial and auxiliary cell branches unknown. Carposporophyte erect, with a basal fusion cell and lobes with all cells forming carposporangia; basal nutritive tissue present, erect filaments disintegrating early. Cystocarps scattered or marginal, smooth, protruding outwards, ostiolate. Spermatangia in sori, cut off via initials from the surface cortical cells.

Tetrasporangia in scattered sori with the cortex slightly thickened, transformed from intercalary cortical cells, irregularly cruciately divided.

Life history triphasic with isomorphic gametophytes and tetrasporophytes.

Type species: E. obovata Schmitz ex Mazza 1921: 107.

Taxonomic notes: The type species was described by Sparling (1957, p. 363, fig. 13a-c, pl. 57), following the brief descriptions in Mazza (1921) and Kylin (1931, p. 13), and commented on by Irvine & Guiry (1986, p. 298). Sparling was unable to clarify the origin of the tetrasporangia in the type, but AD, A62891 (The Kowie, South Africa, Becker) clearly shows their intercalary origin.

A genus of two species, the type from South Africa and one from southern Australia. Erythrymenia differs from Rhodymenia in its thicker thallus with a cortex of anticlinal filaments and medulla several cells thick, of varying cell sizes, and in having tetrasporangial sori scattered over the blade surface with the tetrasporangia always transformed from intercalary cells.


IRVINE, D.E.G. & GUIRY, M.D. (1986). Taxonomy of the Rhodyméniales. In T.V. Desikachary (Ed.). Taxonomy of Algae, pp. 287–303, Plates 1, 2. (Univ. Madras: Madras.)

KYLIN, H. (1931). Die Florideenordnung Rhodyméniales. Lunds Univ. Årsskr. N.F. Avd. 2, 27 (11), 1–48, Plates 1–20.

SPARLING, S.R. (1957). The structure and reproduction of some members of the Rhodymeniaceae. Univ. Calif Pubis Bot. 29, 319–396.

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.

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