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Phylum Rhodophyta – Class Florideophyceae – Order Bonnemaisoniales

Thallus (gametophyte) erect, profusely and irregularly radially branched, mucilaginous, branches terete. Structure uniaxial, axial filament conspicuous throughout, with 2 or 4 periaxial cells producing a cortex of ovoid cells and often with descending rhizoids. Rhodoplasts small, discoid, parietal.

Tetrasporophyte (where known) prostrate, of branched filaments.

Reproduction: Gametangial thalli monoecious or dioecious. Carpogonial branches 3–5-celled, borne on basal cells of laterals, with nutritive cells on the hypogynous or other cells. Fertilized carpogonia usually fusing with the hypogynous cell and producing gonimoblast filaments which ramify between the cortical filaments forming a diffuse (discrete in Reticulocaulis) carposporophyte with carposporangia terminal or in short chains; pericarp absent. Spermatangia formed on the outer cortex in superficial clusters.

Tetrasporangia (where known - Boillot & L'Hardy-Halos 1975) borne terminally or laterally on uniseriate filaments, tetrahedrally divided.

Life history triphasic with heteromorphic gametophytes and tetrasporophytes.

Taxonomic notes: A family of three genera, Naccaria Endlicher with several species, Atractophora Crouan & Crouan (1848, p. 371) from Europe, and Reticulocaulis Abbott (1985) from Hawaii, differing from (and possibly not related to the Bonnemaisoniaceae) by the carposporophyte being (usually) diffuse, and lacking any pericarp.


ABBOTT, I.A. (1985). Vegetative and reproductive morphology in Reticulocaulis gen. nov. and Naccaria hawaiiana sp. nov. (Rhodophyta, Naccariaceae). J. Phycol. 21, 554–561

BOILLOT, A. & L'HARDY-HALOS, M.-Th. (1975). Observations en culture d'une Rhodophycée Bonnemaisoniale: le Naccaria wiggii (Turner, Endlicher). Bull. Soc. phycol. France No. 20, 30–36.

CROUAN, P.L. & CROUAN, H.M. (1848). Sur l'organisation, la fructification et la classification du Fucus wigghii de Turner et de Smith, et de l'Atractophora hypnoides. Ann. Sci. Nat., 3 Sér. Bot. 10, 361–376.

KYLIN, H. (1928). Entwicklungsgeschichtliche Florideen Studien. Lunds Univ. Årsskr. N.F. Avd. 2, 24 (4), 1–127.

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.

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