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Mastophora pacifica (Heydrich) Foslie 1901b: 19.

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

Selected citations: Verheij 1993b: 50, figs 39–41; 1994: 110, figs 39–41; Woelkerling 1988: figs 120,122–124.


Melobesia pacifica Heydrich 1901: 529. De Toni 1905: 1771. Woelkerling 1993: 167.

Lithoporella pacifica (Heydrich) Foslie 1909: 59. Dawson 1954: 428, fig. 40b. Gordon et al. 1976: 259, pl. IV fig. 6, pl. V figs 2–5. Lemoine 1976: 779. Pham Hoang Ho 1969: 155, fig. 2.82. Tseng 1983: 80, pl. 43 fig. 1.

Thallus normally pinkish, encrusting to layered or foliose, mostly 15–70 mm across, epigenous and affixed by local cell adhesion or by unicellular rhizoids; 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 16–32 µm long and 48–80 µm high, and additionally of epithallial cells or occasionally of small groups of filaments terminating in epithallial cells and arising dorsally and more or less perpendicularly from cells of the unistratose palisade layer, cells 8–27 pin in diameter and 27–50 µm long; epithallial cells 5–11 µm in diameter and 16–30 µm long with distal walls rounded or flattened but not flared; cells of adjacent filaments joined by cell fusions, secondary pit-connections and 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 unknown. Gametangia, carposporangia and tetrasporangia produced in uniporate conceptacles, gametangia and carposporangia formed on thalli separate to those bearing tetrasporangia, conceptacles borne only on dorsal thallus surfaces. Bisporangia unknown.

Gametangial thalli 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, 80–110 µm thick, composed of 2–4 layers of cells above the chamber, conceptacle chambers 555–1330 µm in diameter and 300–520 µm high. Carposporophytes developing within female conceptacles after karyogamy, composed of a conspicuous central fusion cell and several-celled gonimoblast filaments bearing terminal carposporangia 95–215 µm in diameter. Spermatangial filaments unbranched, borne across the male conceptacle chamber floor, mature male conceptacle roofs protruding above surrounding thallus surface, 190–280 µm thick, composed of 5–9 layers of cells above the chamber; male conceptacle chambers 24–375 µm in diameter and 80–125 µm high.

Tetrasporangial conceptacle roofs protruding above surrounding surface, 95–190 µm thick above the chamber and composed of (2–) 4–8 layers of cells, pore canals lined by cells that are orientated more or less parallel to the roof surface and protrude slightly into the canal, conceptacle chambers 630–835 µm in diameter and 555–630 µm high; tetrasporangia peripheral to a central columella, each sporangium 130–210 µm in diameter and 220–300 µm long, containing four zonately arranged tetraspores.

Type from the Hawaiian Islands; holotype in PC (Heydrich 49a, General Herbarium box collection); depicted in this account, Fig. 110; additional data provided by Woelkerling (1993: 167).

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

Distribution: China (Tseng 1983: 80); Vietnam (Dawson 1954; Pham Hoang Ho 1969); Indonesia (Verheij 1993b, 1994); Guam (Gordon et al. 1976); Hawaiian Islands (Heydrich 1901).

In Australia, North Point Reef, Rottnest I., W. Aust., to Rye, Vic.

Taxonomic notes: Mastophora pacifica has been found in southern Australia only on a dead abalone shell in a tide pool in Victoria and on a sponge growing at 2–3m deep in Western Australia. Specimens from Rottnest I. are epiphytic on fleshy red algae, while the type (Fig. 110), not previously studied in detail in a modern context, occurs on a Gelidium-like alga from the Hawaiian Islands. Dawson (1954, p. 428) and Gordon et al. (1976, p. 259) recorded specimens growing under corals at depths of 2–7 m.


DAWSON, E.Y. (1954). Marine plants in the vicinity of the Institute Océanographique de Nha Trang, Viêt Nam. Pacif. Sci. 8, 373–469.

DE TONI, G.B. (1905). Sylloge Algarum omnium hucusque Cognitarum. Vol. 4. Florideae. Sect. 4, pp. 1523–1973. (Padua.)

FOSLIE, M. (1901b). Bieten die Heydrich'schen Melobesian — arbeiten eine sichere Grundlage? K. norske Vidensk. Selsk. Skr. 1901(2), 1–28.

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

GORDON, G.D., MASAKI, T. & AKIOKA, H. (1976). Floristic and distributional account of the common crustose coralline algae of Guam. Micronesica 12, 247–277.

HEYDRICH, F. (1901). Die Lithothamnien des Museum d'Histoire Naturelle in Paris. Bot. Jb. 28, 529–545, Plate 11.

LEMOINE, M. (1976). Le genre Lithoporella Foslie (algue Rhodophycée Coralinacee) au Tertiaire et an Quaternaire. Bull. Soc. géol. Fr., Ser. 7, 18, 773–787.

TSENG, C.K. (1983). Common Seaweeds of China. (Science Press: Beijing.)

VERHEIJ, E. (1993b). Marine Plants on the reefs of the Spermonde Archipelago, SW Sulawesi, Indonesia: Aspects of Taxonomy, Floristics, and Ecology. (Rijksherbarium/Hortus Botanicus: Leiden.)

VERHEIJ, E. (1994). Nongeniculate Corallinaceae (Corallinales, Rhodophyta) from the Spermonde Archipelago, SW Sulawesi, Indonesia. Blumea 38, 95–137.

WOELKERLING, Wm.J. (1993). Type collections of Corallinales (Rhodophyta) in the Foslie Herbarium (TRH). Gunneria 67, 1–289.

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.

Illustrations in Womersley Part IIIA, 1996: FIGS 111–113.

Figure 111 image

Figure 111   enlarge

Fig. 111. Mastophora pacifica (A–E, Holotype, PC, Heydrich 49a, General Herbarium box collection). A. Holotype collection, consisting of Gelidium-like host material with fragments of M. pacifica. B. Longitudinal fracture of holotype showing palisade cells along a vegetative filament. C. Transverse fracture of holotype showing fusions (F) between palisade cells of contiguous filaments and epithallial cells (arrows). D. Surface view of an intact conceptacle. E. Section of a mature conceptacle devoid of contents but possibly once tetrasporangial. Remnants of a presumed columella occur on the conceptacle floor.

Figure 113 image

Figure 113   enlarge

Fig. 113. Mastophora pacifica (A, B, LTB, 11053). A. Section of part of a female-carposporangial conceptacle with mature carposporophyte; F = fusion cell; g = gonimoblast filament; C = carposporangium. B. Section of part of a male conceptacle with unbranched spermatangial filaments arising from chamber floor.

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