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Electronic Flora of South Australia Species Fact Sheet

Gloiosaccion brownii Harvey 1859a: pl. 83; 1859b: 322; 1863, synop.: xliv.

Phylum Rhodophyta – Class Florideophyceae – Order Rhodymeniales – Family Rhodymeniaceae

Selected citations: J. Agardh 1876: 317; 1892: 86. Guiler 1952: 94. Huisman & Walker 1990: 416. Kylin 1931: 19. Lucas & Perrin 1947: 202, fig. 66. May 1965: 360. Reinbold 1897: 52. Sonder 1881: 18. Tisdall 1898: 506. Wilson 1892: 179. Womersley 1950: 175; 1966: 150.


Halosaccion hydrophora sensu Harvey 1855a: 556 (NON Postels & Ruprecht 1840: 19, pl. 35C).

Halosaccion firmum sensu Harvey 1855a: 556 (NON Postels & Ruprecht 1840: 19, pl. 35B).

Gloiosaccion hydrophora J. Agardh 1892: 85. Tisdall 1898: 506. Wilson 1892: 179.

Chrysymenia brownii (Harvey) De Toni 1900b: 545. Lucas 1929a: 19; 1929b: 50.

Gloiosaccion pumilum J. Agardh 1892: 85.

Botryocladia brownii (Harvey) Silva ex Nelson & Adams 1984: 21.

Thallus (Fig. 17A) dark red-brown, fading to grey-red, with one to a few simple, saccate, bladders from the holdfast, bladders clavate to tapering above, rarely furcate, 4–16 (–20) cm long and (1–) 2–5 (–6) cm in diameter, apex usually broad and rounded with a short, slender stipe; contents highly mucilaginous. Holdfast discoid, 1–5 mm across; usually epilithic, occasionally epiphytic (e.g. on Amphibolis or Osmundaria). Structure multiaxial, developing a cortex increasing from 35–45 µm thick in calm-water plants to 110–140 µm thick in rough-water plants, with an outer cortex (30–) 40–50 VIM thick in calm-water plants to 60–100 µm thick in rough-water plants, consisting of simple or basally branched anticlinal filaments (3–4 cells long, becoming 6–8 cells long), outer cells ovoid, 2–3 µm in diameter, arising from periclinally ovoid inner cortical cells 10–20 µm in diameter. Medulla 1–3 cells thick, inner cells irregular in size, more or less ovoid, 120–180 (–320) µm in diameter, with numerous secondary pit-connections. Secretory cells (Fig. 17B, E) formed directly on some inner medullary cells, 1–12 per cell, ovoid, (15–) 25–55 µm in diameter; in some larger plants, clusters of laxly branched filaments also occur on inner medullary cells, occasionally also with secretory cells. Rhodoplasts discoid to elongate in cortical cells, becoming ribbon shaped and branched in medullary cells.

Reproduction: Gametangial thalli dioecious. Carpogonial branches 4-celled, borne on inner cortical (supporting) cells together with a 2-celled auxiliary cell branch, the auxiliary cell with a spherical proteinaceous inclusion. Carposporophytes (Fig. 17C) with a basal fusion cell, branched above and bearing lobes with all cells forming ovoid carposporangia 10–18 in diameter. Basal nutritive tissue small-celled, with non-persistent erect filaments, and small-celled erect filaments forming the pericarp. Cystocarps scattered, 0.5–1 mm across, very slightly protruding on the surface but more so inwardly, with a thick pericarp similar to the cortex but becoming 130–150 µm thick, ostiolate. Spermatangia (Fig. 17D) in scattered son, cut off from outer cortical cells, ovoid, 1.5–2 µm in diameter.

Tetrasporangia (Fig. 17E) in extensive nemathecia with or without defined margins, scattered in the outer, thickened, cortex, transformed from intercalary cells and basally pit-connected to mid cortical cells with other very slender pit-connections (Fig. 17F) to outer cortical cells, lying in the outer cortex, ovoid, 40–55 µm long and 10–22 µm in diameter, decussately divided.

Type from Georgetown, Tas. (Harvey, Alg. Aust. Exsicc. 419); lectotype (designated by, Womersley in 1952) in Herb. Harvey, TCD.

Selected specimens: Geraldton, W. Aust. (MEL, 608502). Cottesloe, W. Aust., drift (Royce 1065, 12.vi.1951; AD, A16243). Twilight Cove, Eyre, W. Aust., drift (Cambridge, 16.xii.1981; AD, A56706). Twin Rocks, Head of Great Australian Bight, S. Aust., 20–22 m deep (Branden, 19.i.1991; AD, A61128). Pearson I., S. Aust., 10–15 m deep (Shepherd, 28.iii.1982; AD, A53025). Wanna, S. Aust., drift (Womersley, 19.ii.1959; AD, A22372). Tiparra Reef, S. Aust., 9–12 m deep on Osmundaria (Shepherd, 13.v.1982; AD, A53333). Troubridge I., S. Aust., 23 m deep (Shepherd, 4.ii.1969; AD, A33813). Port Noarlunga, S. Aust., 19 m deep (Branden, 26.iii.1987; AD, A57448). Victor Harbor, S. Aust., 6 m deep (Clarke, 30.xii.1981; AD, A52848 -"Marine Algae of southern Australia" No. 94a). Kingscote, Kangaroo I., S. Aust., 1–2 m deep on jetty piles (Latz, 29.xi.1968; AD, A33000). Muston, American R. inlet, Kangaroo I., S. Aust., 4–5 m deep (Shepherd, 29.xii.1977; AD, A48961). Vivonne Bay, Kangaroo I., S. Aust., 3–4 m deep on jetty piles (Latz, 22.xi.1968; AD, A33024). Nora Creina, S. Aust., drift (Womersley, 17.i.1971; AD, A37830 -"Marine Algae of southern Australia" No. 94). The Fort, Port Phillip Bay, Vic., 7.5 m deep on old logs (Berthold, 6.ii.1990; AD, A60172). Shoreham, Westernport Bay, Vic., drift on Amphibolis antarctica (Sinkora Al260, 29.x.1971; AD, A54209). Crawfish Rock, Westernport Bay, Vic., 3–5 m deep (Watson, 29.viii.1971; AD, A39366). Walkerville, Vic., drift on Amphibolis (Sinkora A1640, 23.ii.1972; AD, A43162). Ulverstone, Tas., drift (Gordon, 18.i.1966; AD, A29981). Port Arthur, Tas., 18 m deep (AIMS-NCI, Q66C 3885-K, 1.iii.1990; AD, A60340). Satellite I., D'Entrecasteaux Ch., Tas., 15 m deep (Shepherd, 17.ii.1972; AD, A41624). Green I., Jervis Bay, N.S.W., 8 m deep (Millar & Richards, 31.i.1991; NSW, 10309; AD, A63402).

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

Distribution: Geraldton, W. Aust., to Jervis Bay, N.S.W., and around Tasmania. Also recorded from the Kermadec Islands by Nelson & Adams (1984, p. 21).

Taxonomic notes: The earliest manuscript name applied to this species is Fucus allantoides, by Brown, mentioned in the Latin (but not the English) description of Fucus saccatus by Turner (1819, p. 105, pl. 241). This brief mention, though it almost certainly applies to G. brownii (as Harvey considered) is considered not to be a valid description (Art. 34), and Turner's comparisons with F. radula (Sarcothalia) and Asperococcus bullosus are both erroneous.

G. brownii varies considerably in thickness of the cortex; young plants and those from calm-water situations have relatively thin cortices, but are consistent in having sessile gland cells on some of the large inner cortical cells.

Harvey (1859a, pl. 83) described two varieties, a membranaceum and firmum; these probably correspond to young and older plants and are not worth recognising. These varieties were distributed in Alg. Aust. Exsicc. nos 419 and 420 respectively. Harvey (1860a, p. 322) apparently changed firmum to coriacea, refernng to No. 420 also, and in 1863 (synop.: xliv) described var. furcatum, based on a plant which had become furcate.

G. pumilum J. Agardh appears to be a slender and young plant of G. brownii, based on the type from Port Phillip Heads, Vic. (holotype in Herb. Agardh, LD, 26407). A few specimens in MEL originally named pumilum were collected after 1892.


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. (1892). Analecta Algologica. Acta Univ. lund. 28, 1–182, Plates 1–3.

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

GUILER, E.R. (1952). The marine algae of Tasmania. Check List with localities. Pap. Proc. R. Soc. Tasm. 86, 71–106.

HARVEY, W.H. (1855a). Some account of the marine botany of the colony of Western Australia. Trans. R. Ir. Acad. 22, 525–566.

HARVEY, W.H. (1859a). Phycologia Australica. Vol. 2, Plates 61–120. (Reeve: London.)

HARVEY, W.H. (1859b). Algae. In Hooker, J.D., The Botany of the Antarctic Voyage. HI Flora Tasmaniae. Vol. II, pp. 282–320. (Reeve: London.)

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

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.)

LUCAS, A.H.S. (1929a). The marine algae of Tasmania. Pap. Proc. R. Soc. Tasm. 1928, 6–27.

LUCAS, A.H.S. (1929b). A census of the marine algae of South Australia. Trans. R. Soc. S. Aust. 53, 45–53.

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.

NELSON, W.A. & ADAMS, N.M. (1984). Marine algae of the Kermadec Islands. Nat. Museum N.Z. Misc. Ser. No. 10, pp. 1–29.

REINBOLD, T. (1897). Die Algen der Lacepede und Guichen Bay und deren näherer Umgebung (Süd Australien), gesammelt von Dr. A. Engelhart-Kingston. Nuova Notarisia 8, 41–62.

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

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

TURNER, D. (1819). Fuci sive Plantarum Fucorum Generi a Botanicis Ascriptarum Icones Descriptiones et Historia. Vol. 4, pp. 1–153, Plates 197–258. (London.)

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. (1950). The marine algae of Kangaroo Island. III. List of Species 1. Trans. R. Soc. S. Aust. 73, 137–197.

WOMERSLEY, H.B.S. (1966). Port Phillip survey, 1957–1963: Algae. Mem. natn. Mus., Vict. No. 27, 133–156.

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. 17.

Figure 17 image

Figure 17   enlarge

Fig. 17. Gloiosaccion brownii (A, D, AD, A52848; B, AD, A57448; C, AD, A60172; E, AD, A22372). A. Habit. B. Secretory cells on inside of inner medullary cells. C. Cross section of a cystocarp. D. Transverse section of spermatangial thallus. E. Cross section of tetrasporangial thallus; two secretory cells on inner medullary cells.

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