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Electronic Flora of South Australia Species Fact Sheet

Gracilariopsis lemaneiformis (Bory) Dawson, Acleto & Foldvik 1964: 59, pl. 56 fig. A.

Phylum Rhodophyta – Class Florideophyceae – Order Gracilariales – Family Gracilariaceae

Selected citations: Fredericq & Hommersand 1989: 228, figs 1–49.


Gigartina lemanaeformis Bory 1828: 151.

Cordylecladia lemanaeformis (Bory) Howe 1914: 128, pl. 52.

Gracilaria lemanaeformis (Bory) Weber-van Bosse 1928: 435, fig. 176. Bird & Oliveira 1986: 318, figs 11, 14. Etcheverry 1986: 237, pl. 15.

Gracilaria sjoestedtii Kylin 1930: 55, figs 40E, F, 41, 43.

Gracilariopsis sjoestedtii (Kylin) Dawson 1949: 40, pl. 15 fig. 10, pl. 16 figs 5–8, pl. 17, pl. 18 fig. 4.

Thallus (Fig. 8A) medium red to dark red-brown, 20–120 cm high, moderately to much branched irregularly at varying intervals, branches terete to very slightly compressed, main branches 0.7–1.4 mm in diameter, laterals usually slenderer and 300–600 µm in diameter, decreasing to 150–200 µm in lesser branchlets, laterals not or slightly constricted basally, apices rounded, apical cell unclear. Holdfast discoid, 1–3 mm across; epilithic or adherent to sponge. Structure uniaxial but axial filament not apparent, becoming pseudoparenchymatous (Fig. 8B) with a cortex 2–4 cells thick, outer cells sub-palisade like, 4–7 µm in diameter, L/D 1.5–2.5, grading over 3–5 cells to large, ovoid to isodiametric (in both transverse and longitudinal section) medullary cells 200–500 µm in diameter, with numerous secondary pit-connections, walls 10–20 µm thick; medulla 3–5 cells across. Hairs frequent, with larger basal cells in the outer cortex. Rhodoplasts discoid to elongate, becoming ribbon like.

Reproduction: Gametangial thalli dioecious. Carpogonial branches not observed (in Robe material). Carposporophytes (Fig. 8D) broad-based, with a small fusion cell, lower gonimoblast cells not enlarged, ovoid, 20–40 µm in diameter, developing slightly branched chains of more or less ovoid carposporangia 20–30 µm in diameter; lower gonimoblast cells pit-connected to inner pericarp cells in floor of cystocarp, traversing nutritive cells absent. Cystocarps (Fig. 8C) irregularly radially placed, hemispherical to conical, broad-based and not or only slightly basally constricted, 1–1.5 mm in basal diameter and 0.8–1.5 mm high, with or without a slight beak; pericarp 100–200 µm and 8–14 cells thick, cells isodiametric, in anticlinal chains, with secondary lateral pit-connections; ostiolate. Spermatangia (Fig. 8E) scattered over the cortex, cut off from elongate initials by transverse walls, ovoid, 2–3 µm in diameter.

Tetrasporangia (Fig. 8F) scattered in the outer cortex, basally pit-connected to inner cortical cells, ovoid, 40–55 µm long and 15–35 µm in diameter, decussately divided. The cortex is slightly thicker and less smooth where tetrasporangia are dense.

Type from Paita, Peru; type sheet [lectotype left specimen (Fredericq & Hommersand 1989, p. 228)] in Herb. Bory, PC.

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

Distribution: Pacific N. and S. America; China; India (see Bird & Oliveira 1986, fig. 1); western Europe (Fredericq & Hommersand 1989, p. 240).

In southern Australia, known only from Robe, S. Aust.

Taxonomic notes: These collections, both of numerous plants, are the only record of G. lemaneiformis from Australia, and "completes the circum-Pacific distribution of the species." The plants agree well with descriptions of this species but DNA sequencing is needed to support the determination which is regarded as likely by Dr Carolyn Bird (pers. comm.).

Lake Butler at Robe is a small lake used as a harbour for the fishing fleet. This species may be an adventive and should be searched for elsewhere on the southern Australian coast.


BIRD, C.J. & OLIVEIRA, E.C. de (1986). Gracilaria tenuifrons sp. nov. (Gigartinales, Rhodophyta), a species from the tropical western Atlantic with superficial spermatangia. Phycologia 25, 313–320.

BORY DE ST-VINCENT, J.B. (1828). In Duperrey, L.I., Voyage autour du monde, exécuté par ordre du Roi, sur la corvette de Sa Majesté, la Coquille, pendant les années 1822, 1823, 1824 et 1825. Botanique, Cryptogamie, pp. 1–300, Plates 1–39. (Bertrand: Paris.)

DAWSON, E.Y. (1949). Studies of Northeast Pacific Gracilariaceae. Allan Hancock Found. Pubis, Occ. Paper 7, pp. 1–105.

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

HOWE, M.A. (1914). The marine algae of Peru. Mem. Torrey Bot. Club 15, 1–185, Plates 1–66.

KYLIN, H. (1930). Über die entwicklungsgeschichte der Florideen. Lunds Univ. Årsskr. N.F. Avd. 2, 26 (6), 1–104.

WEBER-VAN BOSSE, A. (1928). Liste des Algues du Siboga. IV. Rhodophyceae. Part 3. Gigartinales and Rhodyméniales. Siboga-Expeditae, Monogr. LIXd, pp. 393–533, Plates 11–16.

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. 8.

Figure 8 image

Figure 8   enlarge

Fig. 8. Gracilariopsis lemaneiformis (AD, A63430). A. Habit. B. Transverse section of thallus. C. Section of thallus with two cystocarps. D. Section of a carposporophyte. E. Transverse section of thallus through a spermatangial sorus. F. Transverse section with tetrasporangia.

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