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Metagoniolithon stelliferum (Lamarck) Weber-van Bosse 1904: 103, pl. 15 figs 9, 13.

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

Selected citations: Ducker 1979: 83, figs 1–3. Huisman & Walker 1990: 413. Johansen 1981: 74, fig. 16D.


Corallina stellifera Lamarck 1815: 239.

Amphiroa stellifera (Lamarck) Blainville 1834: 552.

Amphiroa stellif(g)era (Lamarck) Decaisne 1842b: 124. J. Agardh 1885: 14. Areschoug 1852: 540. De Toni 1905: 1809. Endlicher 1843: 49. Harvey 1849a: 96; 1855a: 547; 1859b: 310; 1862: pl. 230. Kützing 1849: 701. Lucas 1929b: 53. Lucas & Perrin 1947: 394, fig. 199. Sonder 1853: 687; 1881: 20. Tisdall 1898: 507. Wilson 1892: 177.

Amphiroa stelligera var. interrupta Kützing 1858: 26, pl. 52h.

Amphiroa stelligera var. densa Kützing 1858: 26, pl. 53a, e-g.

Amphiroa stelligera var. laxa Kützing 1858: 26, pl. 53b.

Amphiroa stelligera var. nuda Kützing 1858: 26, pl. 53c, d.

Metagoniolithon stelligerum (Lamarck) Weber-van Bosse 1904: 103, pl. 15 figs 9, 13. De Toni 1905: 1861. De Toni & Ford 1923: 61. Ganesan 1971: 248, figs 1–12. Guiler 1952: 87. Johansen 1969, pl. 15. King et al. 1971: 121. Lucas 1915: 57. Lucas & Perrin 1947: 394, fig. 199. Manza 1940: 311, pl. 20. May 1965: 356. Womersley 1950: 167; 1953: 38; 1966: 146.

?Corallina interrupta Lamarck 1815: 239.

Amphiroa interrupta (Lamarck) Lamouroux 1816: 301, pl. 11 fig. 5. Areschoug 1852: 540. Decaisne 1842b: 124. Endlicher 1843: 49. Harvey 1849a: 96. Kützing 1849: 701.

Amphiroa jubata Lamouroux 1816: 301, pl. 11 fig. 6. Areschoug 1852: 540. Decaisne 1842b: 124. Endlicher 1843: 49. Harvey 1849a: 96. Kützing 1849: 701.

Amphiroa verrucosa Lamouroux 1816: 300, pl. 11 fig. 4. Blainville 1834: 552. Decaisne 1842b: 124. Endlicher 1843: 49. Harvey 1849a: 96. Kützing 1849: 701; 1858: 20, pl. 42 fig. III (?).

Amphiroa elegans Sonder 1845: 55; 1848: 187; 1881: 20. Kützing 1849: 702.

Thallus (Fig. 144D) medium red-brown but often bleached, 5–20 (–30) cm high, with one to a few axes from a crustose holdfast, much branched from the genicula with clustered branches of varying lengths, ultimate branchlets of 1–2 (–3) intergenicula, intergenicula 3–15 (–20) mm long below and 0.5–1 mm in diameter, decreasing to (1–) 2–4 mm long and 200–300 (–400) µm in diameter above; apices of branches with a mucilaginous cap (Fig. 144E) 25–30 µm thick. Holdfasts 1–3 mm across; epiphytic on Amphibolis directly or more often on other epiphytic crustose coralline algae, or on larger algae. Structure. Intergenicula of numerous medullary tiers 25–45 µm long, cells 6–14 µm in diameter with numerous lateral cell-fusions. Genicula relatively long, of untiered filaments. Apical cells separated, without epithallial cells. Cortex present on both intergenicula and genicula, below extending over the genicula as calcified collars, of short splaying filaments 7–10 µm in diameter, with short epithallial cells and often scattered hairs. Rhodoplasts discoid to elongate.

Reproduction: Conceptacles uniporate, borne on the surface of the intergenicula. Gametangial thalli dioecious. Female conceptacles 300–350 µm in external diameter, bearing 2-celled carpogonial filaments on the chamber floor; carposporophyte with a broad, thin, fusion cell with short marginal gonimoblast filaments developing ovoid, terminal carposporangia 20–30 µm in diameter. Male conceptacles 300–400 µm in external diameter, with spermatangia cut off from initials only on the chamber floor, ovoid, 1.5–3 µm in diameter.

Tetrasporangial conceptacles prominent, conical, 300–420 µm in diameter, with 2–6 tetrasporangia at the periphery of the chamber, each 75–120 µm long and 30–65 µm in diameter, zonately divided.

Type from Nouvelle-Hollande (Peron & Lesueur); holotype in PC.

Selected specimens: (on Amphibolis unless stated): Green I., Rottnest I., W. Aust., 1–1.5 m deep (Clarke & Engler, 6.ix.1979; AD, A51066). Point Valliant, Two People Bay, W. Aust., 1–4 m deep (Clarke & Engler, 30.viii.1979; AD, A50967). Smooth I., Isles of St Francis, S. Aust., 22 m deep (Shepherd, 29.iii.1980; AD, A51937). Waterloo Bay (Elliston), S. Aust., 5–8 m deep (Shepherd & Turner, 31.x.1981; AD, A52775). Memory Cove, S. Aust., on Scaberia, upper sublittoral (Womersley, 25.ii.1959; AD, A22287). Pondalowie Bay, S. Aust., upper sublittoral (Gordon-Mills, 23.v.1981; AD, A52193). Aldinga, S. Aust., drift (Womersley, 13.i.1973; AD, A42986 -"Marine Algae of southern Australia" No. 201). Between Knob Point & Cape Cassini, Kangaroo I., S. Aust., 8 m deep (AIMS-NCI, Q66C 2176-H, 29.i.1989; AD, A59754). Carpenter Rocks, S. Aust., on Heterozostera in shallow pools (Womersley, 5.iii.1995; AD, A64300 -"Marine Algae of southern Australia" No. 201a). Queenscliff, Vic., drift (Johansen 81–8–2, 30.viii.1981; AD, A52576). Kitty Miller Bay, Phillip 1., Vic., 1–2 m deep (Sorokin, 12.ii.1990; AD, A60141). Walkerville, Vic., drift (Sinkora A1795, 3.xii.1973; AD, A53496). Rocky Cape, NW Tas., lower eulittoral pools (Womersley, 17.x.1982; AD, A55553). Currie R. mouth, Tas., upper sublittoral (Womersley, 28.i.1949; AD, A10307).

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

Distribution: Yanchep, W. Aust., to Refuge Cove, E of Wilsons Prom., Vic., and N Tasmania. (see Ducker 1979, p. 84).

Taxonomic notes: M. stelliferum is common near low tide on coasts of moderate water movement, usually indirectly epiphytic on Amphibolis and occasionally on various larger algae or Heterozostera.


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ARESCHOUG, J.E. (1852). Ordo XII. Corallineae. In J.G. Agardh, "Species, Genera et Ordines Algarum". Vol. 2, Part 2, pp. 506–576. (Gleerup: Lund.)

BLAINVILLE, H.M.D. de (1834). Manuel d' actinologie ou de zoophytologie. (Levrault: Paris.)

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

DECAISNE, J. (1842b). Mémoire sur les Corallines ou Polypiers calcifères. Ann. Sci. Nat., 2 Sér. Bot., 18, 96–128. ,

DUCKER, S.C. (1979). The genus Metagoniolithon Weber-van Bosse (Corallinaceae, Rhodophyta). Aust. J. Bot. 27, 67–101.

ENDLICHER, S.L. (1843). Genera plantarum secundum ordines naturales disposita. Suppl. 3 (Beck: Wien.)

GANESAN, E.K. (1971). Studies on the morphology and reproduction of the articulated corallines. VI. Metagoniolithon Weber-van Bosse. Rev. Algol. n.s., 10, 248–256, Plate 21.

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

HARVEY, W.H. (1849a). Nereis Australis, pp. 65–124, Plates 26–50. (Reeve: London.)

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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.

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KING, R.J., BLACK, J.H. & DUCKER, S.C. (1971). Intertidal ecology of Port Phillip Bay with systematic lists of plants and animals. Mem. Nat. Mus. Vic. 32, 93–128, charts 1, 2.

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WOMERSLEY, H.B.S. (1953). The Archipelago of the Recherche. 3b. Marine Algae. Aust. Geogr. Soc. Rep. No. 1, Part 3B, pp. 36–38.

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 & H.W. Johansen

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. 144D, E.

Figure 144 image

Figure 144   enlarge

Fig. 144. A–C. Metagoniolithon radiatum (A, B, AD, A10933; C, AD, A52595). A. Branches with male conceptacles. B. Longitudinal section of a male conceptacle. C. Longitudinal section of a tetrasporangial conceptacle. D, E. Metagoniolithon stelliferum (D, AD, A52193; E, AD, A64300). D. Habit. E. Branches with mucilaginous caps.

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