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Gloiocladia fruticulosa (Harvey) Norris 1991: 592.

Phylum Rhodophyta – Class Florideophyceae – Order Rhodymeniales – Family Rhodymeniaceae


Horea fruticulosa Harvey 1860: pl. 156. J. Agardh 1876: 292. Sonder 1881: 17. Tisdall 1898: 505. Wilson 1892: 180.

Gloioderma fruticulosum (Harvey) J. Agardh 1872: 18. De Toni 1900b: 496. Kylin 1931: 7. Lucas & Perrin 1947: 192. Searles 1984: 220. Sparling 1957: 329, fig. 2e.

Endosira australis J. Agardh 1899: 106, pl. 1 fig. 3. De Toni 1924: 86. Womersley 1965: 452.

Thallus (Fig. 36A) medium to dark red-brown, 5–10 (–15) cm high, much branched radially for 3–4 orders, main branches subdichotomous to lateral, not compressed but flanged below branch bases giving a lobed cross section, 1–2 mm in diameter, with shorter terete laterals 5–10 (–15) mm long, ultimate branchlets 2–5 mm long, terete, 250–500 µm in diameter, often becoming attached to other branches. Holdfast discoid, with branchlet ends forming secondary discoid attachment pads; epiphytic on sea-grasses or possibly epilithic. Structure multiaxial, developing a cortex (Fig. 36B, C) 40–80 (–120) µm thick, of 6–9 cells in discrete branch systems arising directly from smaller outer medullary cells, and without lateral secondary pit-connections, cells usually ovoid, (3–) 4–6 µm in diameter and L/D 1–2; medulla (Fig. 36B, C) compact, 4–10 cells thick, cells ovoid to elongate-ovoid, 60–100 µm in diameter, with frequent secondary pit-connections. Rhodoplasts discoid to elongate in cortical cells, becoming elongate or chained in medullary cells.

Reproduction: Gametangial thalli probably dioecious. Carpogonial branches (Fig. 37B) 2-celled, borne on conspicuous supporting (inner cortical) cells together with 2-celled auxiliary cell branches (Fig. 36E), with the supporting cell and the first cell of the auxiliary cell branch developing several thick arms to secondary connections; auxiliary cells ovoid, with granular contents and a globular proteinaceous inclusion (Fig. 36E). Carposporophytes (Fig. 36F, G) compact, 200–400 µm across, all cells forming ovoid to angular carposporangia 20–25 µm in diameter; basal nutritive tissue present, erect filaments surrounding the carposporophyte and remaining relatively persistent (Fig. 36F). Cystocarps (Fig. 36D) 0.7–1.5 mm across, developing 2–3 blunt, elongate horns, ostiolate. Spermatangia unknown.

Tetrasporangia (Fig. 36H) scattered, formed on mid cortical cells, ovoid, 16–35 µm in diameter, decussately divided.

Type from Port Phillip Heads, Vic. (Harvey); lectotype (Harvey, Alg. Aust. Exsicc. 440E) in Herb. Harvey, TCD.

Selected specimens: Port Turton, Yorke Pen., S. Aust., 8–10 m deep (Kald, 5.ix.1970; AD, A37252). Outside Tapley Shoal (Edithburg), S. Aust., 15 m deep (Shepherd, 2.ii. / 969; AD, A33503). Port Stanvac, S. Aust., on jetty pylons (R. Lewis, 7.iv.1972; AD, A42494). Port Noarlunga, S. Aust., 19 m deep on tyre reef (Branden, 26.iii.1987; AD, A57440). Saunders Beach, Eastern Cove, Kangaroo I., S. Aust., drift (Womersley, 25.viii.1963; AD, A26723). Rocky Point, Kangaroo I., S. Aust., drift (Womersley, 26.viii.1950; AD, A13360). American R. inlet, Kangaroo I., S. Aust., 2–3 m deep opposite Muston (Kraft et al., 16.iv.1973; AD, A43739). Muston, Kangaroo I., S. Aust., 2–3 m deep (Womersley, 21.xi.1968; AD, A32935 -"Marine Algae of southern Australia" No. 91). Crawfish Rock, Westernport Bay, Vic., 9 m deep (Watson, 30.xi.1968; AD, A33591). Musselroe Bay, Tas. (Perrin 762, March 1950; BM). Humbug Point, Georges Bay, St Helens, Tas., 4 m deep (Riddle, 25.ii.1990; AD, A60429). Satellite I., D'Entrecasteaux Ch., Tas., 10 m deep (Shepherd, 18.ii.1972; AD, A41692).

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

Distribution: Port Turton, Yorke Pen., S. Aust., to Westernport Bay, Vic., and the east coast of Tasmania.

Taxonomic notes: G. fruticulosa is often common in sheltered conditions but where there is moderate current flow, on Posidonia or solid substrates.

Endosira australis J. Agardh was described from the "South Coast of S. Aust." The lectotype is in Herb. Agardh, LD, 32218.

G. fruticulosa was recorded from Juan Fernandez Island by Etcheverry (1986, p. 280), but this record needs verification.


AGARDH, J.G. (1872). Bidrag till Florideernes Systematik. Acta Univ. lund. 8, 1–60.

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

AGARDH, J.G. (1899). Analecta Algologica. Cont. V. Acta Univ. lund. 35, 1–160, Plates 1–3.

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

DE TONI, G.B. (1924). Sylloge Algarum omnium hucusque Cognitarum. Vol. 6. Florideae. (Padua.)

ETCHEVERRY, D.H. (1986). Algas Marinas Bentónicas de Chile. (Unesco: Montevideo.)

HARVEY, W.H. (1860). Phycologia Australica. Vol. 3, Plates 121–180. (Reeve: London.)

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

LUCAS, A.H.S. & PERRIN, F. (1947). The Seaweeds of South Australia. Part 2. The Red Seaweeds. (Govt Printer: Adelaide.)

NORRIS, R.E. (1991). Some unusual marine red algae (Rhodophyta) from South Africa. Phycologia 30, 582–596.

SEARLES, R.B. (1984). North Carolina marine algae. XII. Gloioderma rubrisporum sp. nov. (Rhodophyta, Rhodyméniales). Bull. Torrey Bot. Club. 111, 217–221.

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

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

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.

WOMERSLEY, H.B.S. (1965). The Helminthocladiaceae (Rhodophyta) of southern Australia. Aust. J. Bot. 13, 451–487, Plates 1–7.

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.

Illustrations in Womersley Part IIIA, 1996: FIGS 36, 37B.

Figure 36 image

Figure 36   enlarge

Fig. 36. Gloiocladia fruticulosa (A, AD, A43739; D, F, G, AD, A13360; B, C, E, H, AD, A26723). A. Habit. B. Transverse section of branch. C. Longitudinal section of branch. D. Branch with cystocarps. E. Auxiliary cell branch, auxiliary cell on right. F. Carposporophyte with basal nutritive tissue and erect filaments. G. Section of cystocarp. H. Longitudinal section of branch with tetrasporangia.

Figure 37 image

Figure 37   enlarge

Fig. 37. A. Faucheopsis coronata (AD, A61466). Transverse section of cortex (post fertilization) with supporting cell, probable carpogonial branch and auxiliary cell branch. B. Gloiocladia fruticulosa (AD, A26723). Transverse section of cortex with supporting cell and probable carpogonial branch. C. Gloiocladia australe (AD, A33408). Transverse section of cortex with a supporting cell bearing probable lower cells of a carpogonial branch and a 3-celled auxiliary cell branch. D. Gloiocladia halymenioides (AD, A43722). Transverse section of cortex with a 4-celled carpogonial branch. E. Leptosomia rosea (AD, A63215). Section of cortex with an old carpogonial branch and young carposporophyte.

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