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Genus LITHOPORELLA Foslie 1909: 58

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

Thallus encrusting to layered or foliose, epigenous and partially or completely affixed by cell adhesion or envelopment of host axes; genicula absent. Structure pseudoparenchymatous with dorsiventral organisation throughout; construction dimerous, consisting of two distinct groups of filaments: a unistratose ventral layer in which each filament is composed of palisade cells, and secondly epithallial cells or occasionally filaments 2–3 (–5) cells long terminating in epithallial cells and arising dorsally and more or less perpendicularly from cells of the unistratose palisade layer; cell elongation characteristics uncertain; cells of adjacent filaments joined by cell-fusions, secondary pit-connections absent; epithallial cells with distal walls rounded or flattened but not flared; haustoria unknown; trichocytes sometimes present, occurring singly or in horizontal rows or fields and occasionally dividing transversely or obliquely to form two cells.

Reproduction: Vegetative reproduction by thallus fragmentation. Gametangia, carposporangia and tetrasporangia borne in uniporate conceptacles, gametangia and carposporangia formed on separate thalli from tetrasporangia, conceptacles borne only on dorsal surface of branches. Bisporangia unknown.

Gametangial thalli dioecious. Carpogonia terminating 2- or 3-celled filaments arising from the female conceptacle chamber floor. Carposporophytes arising within female conceptacles after karyogamy, composed of a conspicuous central fusion cell and several-celled gonimoblast filaments bearing terminal carposporangia. Spermatangial filaments unbranched, produced on the floor of male conceptacle chambers.

Tetrasporangia scattered across the conceptacle chamber floor, roofs formed by filaments peripheral to and interspersed amongst sporangial initials, each mature sporangium lacking an apical plug and containing four zonately arranged tetraspores.

Type species: L. melobesioides (Foslie) Foslie 1909: 59.

Taxonomic notes: At least 21 species and infraspecific taxa have been referred to Lithoporella, including at least 10 fossil species, but a world monograph has not been produced and species concepts are uncertain (Woelkerling 1988, p. 128). Details relating to generic etymology, nomenclature, synonymy, infrageneric classification, etc. are provided by Woelkerling (1988, pp. 124–128). The only species known from southern Australia is the type species, L. melobesioides; Turner & Woelkerling (1982a, 1982b) provided morphological-anatomical data on southern Australian populations, and this forms the basis for the present taxonomic account.


FOSLIE, M. (1909). Algologiske notiser. VI. K. norske Vidensk. Selsk. Skr. 1909(2), 1–63.

TURNER, J.A. & WOELKERLING, W.J. (1982a). Studies on the Mastophora — Lithoporella complex (Corallinaceae, Rhodophyta). I. Meristems and thallus structure and development. Phycologia 21, 201–217.

TURNER, J.A. & WOELKERLING, W.J. (1982b). Studies on the Mastophora — Lithoporella complex (Corallinaceae, Rhodophyta). II. Reproduction and generic concepts. Phycologia 21, 218–235.

WOELKERLING, Wm.J. (1988). The Coralline Red Algae. [British Museum (N.H.): London.]

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

Author: W.J. Woelkerling (with some genera by D.L. Penrose)

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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