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Lithophyllum chamberlainianum Woelkerling & Campbell 1992: 34, figs 16–21.

Phylum Rhodophyta – Class Florideophyceae – Order Corallinales – Family Corallinaceae – Subfamily Lithophylloideae

Selected citations: Barry & Woelkerling 1995: 137.

Thallus normally pinkish, encrusting to layered, mostly 0.05–2.5 mm across and 0.04–0.5 mm thick, epigenous and partially or completely affixed by cell adhesion or envelopment of host axes; lamellate branches applanate and inconspicuous. Structure pseudoparenchymatous with dorsiventral organisation throughout; construction dimerous, consisting of a single ventral layer of branched, laterally cohering, filaments each usually composed of palisade cells 5–18 µm long and (13–) 20–75 (–90) µm high, and additionally of epithallial cells that arise dorsally and more or less perpendicularly from most cells of ventral layer filaments and are 4–12 µm in diameter and 2–7 µm long with distal walls rounded or flattened but not flared; cells of adjacent filaments joined by secondary pit-connections; cell-fusions, haustoria and trichocytes unknown.

Reproduction: Vegetative reproduction unknown. Gametangia, carposporangia, tetrasporangia and bisporangia produced in uniporate conceptacles; gametangia and carposporangia formed on thalli separate to those bearing tetrasporangia and bisporangia.

Gametangial thalli probably dioecious. Carpogonia terminating 2- or 3-celled filaments arising from the female conceptacle chamber floor. Mature female-carposporangial conceptacle roofs protruding above surrounding thallus surface, 60–110 µm thick, composed of 7–10 layers of cells above the chamber, conceptacle chambers 160–225 (–259) µm in diameter and 81–115 (–209) µm high. Carposporophytes composed of a conspicuous central fusion cell and several-celled gonimoblast filaments bearing terminal carposporangia 20–30 (–52) µm in diameter. Spermatangial filaments unbranched, borne across the male conceptacle chamber floor, mature male conceptacle roofs protruding above surrounding thallus surface, 35–60 µm thick, composed of 5–7 layers of cells above the chamber, male conceptacle chambers 160–200 µm in diameter and 29–55 µm high.

Tetrasporangial/bisporangial conceptacle roofs protruding above surrounding surface, 2–4 (–5) cells thick above the chamber, pore canals completely occluded by a conglomerate of elongate, more or less tubular and sometimes inflexed cells that arise from at least the first two rows of roof filaments flanking the pore canal and that usually project above the surrounding roof surface, conceptacle chambers (145–) 175–210 (–252) µm in diameter and (60–) 80–120 (–159) µm high, floor of mature chambers usually one cell below thallus surface; tetrasporangia and bisporangia scattered across the conceptacle chamber floor or peripheral to a central columella, each mature sporangium (16–) 20–35 (–47) µm in diameter and (35–) 55–95 (–118) µm long, containing zonately arranged tetraspores or bispores.

Type from Lucky Bay, Cape Le Grand National Park, E of Esperance, W. Aust. (Woelkerling, Platt & Jones, 9.ii.1984); holotype in LTB (14334); depicted in Woelkerling & Campbell (1992, p. 35, fig. 16A).

Selected specimens: Herald Bight, Shark Bay, W. Aust., on Amphibolis (Harlin, 12.ix.1984; LTB, 16637) and on Penicillis (Woelkerling, 28.vii.1986; LTB, 16629). Lucky Bay, Cape Le Grand National Park, W. Aust., 0–3 m deep (Woelkerling, Platt & Jones, 9.ii.1984; LTB, 14315, 14327, 14328, 14335, 14366). Eyre ("Nine Mile Reef'), W. Aust., 2–3 m deep (Woelkerling, Platt & Jones, 1.ii.1984; LTB, 13940, 13944, 13945, 13959). Point Fowler, Fowlers Bay, S. Aust., 2–3 m deep (Woelkerling, Plan & Jones, 14.ii.1984; LTB, 14393). Chinaman's Hat Island Bay, Yorke Pen., S. Aust. (Woelkerling, 30.xii.1976; LTB, 11266). Penneshaw, Kangaroo I., S. Aust., 1–2 m deep on shells (Campbell & Penrose, 13.iv.1988; LTB, 15672). Beachport, S. Aust., 0–2 m deep (Campbell & Penrose, 24.ii.1988; LTB, 15851 and 26.ii.1988; LTB, 15751, 15762). Flinders, Vic., 1–2 m deep (Woelkerling, 15.ii.1985; LTB, 15269). Port Fairy, Vic. (Woelkerling, 4.i.1979; LTB, 11708, 11717). Refuge Cove, Wilsons Prom., Vic. (Leach, 22.x.1977; LTB, 11248). Rocky Cape National Park, Tas., 0–1 m deep (Platt, 2.iii.1983; LTB, 13444). Greens Beach (N Coast), Tas., 1 m deep (Plan, 2.iii.1983; LTB, 13398). Eddystone Point, Tas., 0–3 m deep (Plan & Woelkerling, 23.ii.1983; LTB, 13148, 13152, 13158). Coles Bay, Freycinet Pen., Tas., 0–2.5 m deep (Platt & Woelkerling, 21.ii.1983; LTB, 13094).

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

Distribution: Shark Bay, W. Aust., to Refuge Cove, Wilsons Prom., Vic., and the northern and eastern coasts of Tasmania.

Taxonomic notes: Lithophyllum chamberlainianum has been found on limpets, snails, abalone shells, the seagrass Amphibolis antarctica and a variety of algae in intertidal pools and subtidally to depths of 10 m. Thalli generally conform to the contours of the substrate and thus may be horizontally expanded or sleeve-like in appearance. Dense aggregations occur in some collections while isolated individuals occur in others.


BARRY, G.C. & WOELKERLING, W.J. (1995). Non-geniculate species of Corallinaceae (Corallinales, Rhodophyta) in Shark Bay, Western Australia: biodiversity, salinity tolerances and biogeographic affinities. Botanica Mar. 38, 135–149.

WOELKERLING, W.J. & CAMPBELL, S.J. (1992). An account of southern Australian species of Lithophyllum (Corallinaceae, Rhodophyta). Bull. Br. Mus. Nat. Hist., Bot. Ser. 22, 1–107.

The Marine Benthic Flora of Southern Australia Part IIIB complete list of references.

Author: W.J. Woelkerling

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 95, 96.

Figure 95 image

Figure 95   enlarge

Fig. 95. Lithophyllum chamberlainianum (A, B, LTB, 15851; C–E, LTB, 14334). A. Encrusting thallus on a Turbo shell. B. Layered thallus with applanate branches on a Turbo shell. C. Surface view of tetrasporangial conceptacle with occluded pore canal. D. Section of tetrasporangial conceptacle with occluded pore canal and sporangia scattered across the chamber floor and interspersed amongst sterile cells. E. Section of tetrasporangial conceptacle with occluded pore canal and sporangia peripheral to a central columella of sterile cells.

Figure 96 image

Figure 96   enlarge

Fig. 96. Lithophyllum chamberlainianum (A, LTB, 14335; B, LTB, 13094; C, LTB, 14334). A. Section of female-carposporangial conceptacle with mature carpogonial filaments. B. Section of female-carposporangial conceptacle with mature carposporophyte. C. Section of male conceptacle with unbranched spermatangial filaments arising from chamber floor.

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