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Pneophyllum coronatum (Rosanoff) Penrose in Chamberlain 1994a: 141.

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


Melobesia coronata Rosanoff 1866: 64, pl. 4 fig. 9.

Heteroderma coronata (Rosanoff) Foslie 1909: 56.

Melobesia caulerpae Foslie 1906: 16.

Heteroderma caulerpae (Foslie) Adey 1970: 16.

Pneophyllum caulerpae (Foslie) Jones & Woelkerling 1984: 184, fig. 18.

Thallus encrusting, epiphytic and affixed by cell adhesion. Structure pseudoparenchymatous; organisation dorsiventral; construction dimerous, consisting of a single ventral layer of branched filaments composed of non-palisade cells, and unicellular or multicellular simple or branched filaments that arise more or less perpendicularly from cells of ventral layer filaments, each filament composed of cells 2–15 µm in diameter and 2–20 µm long; epithallial cells terminating most filaments at the thallus surface, distal walls rounded or flattened but not flared; cells of adjacent filaments joined by cell-fusions, secondary pit-connections absent; trichocytes present or absent, if present, usually occurring singly or in pairs at the thallus surface, not becoming buried within the thallus.

Reproduction: Vegetative reproduction unknown. Gametangia, carposporangia,
tetrasporangia and bisporangia produced in uniporate conceptacles.

Gametangial plants monoecious; carpogonia and spermatangia produced in separate conceptacles. Carpogonia terminating 3-celled filaments arising from the female conceptacle chamber floor. Mature female-carposporangial conceptacle roofs protruding above or flush with surrounding thallus surface, composed of 4–6 cells above the chamber, pores surrounded by coronas of filaments, conceptacle chambers 135–250 µm in diameter and 135–180 µm high. Carposporophytes developing within older female conceptacles after karyogamy, when mature composed of a large central fusion cell and with gonimoblast filaments bearing terminal carposporangia. Spermatangial filaments unbranched, arising from the floor of male conceptacle chambers, mature male conceptacle roofs protruding above or flush with surrounding thallus surface, conceptacle chambers 50–70 µm in diameter and 30–55 µm high.

Tetrasporangial and bisporangial conceptacle roofs protruding above or flush with surrounding thallus surface, 3–6 cells thick above the chamber, pore canals lined with protruding cells, pores surrounded by coronas of filaments, conceptacle chambers 135–235 µm in diameter and 85–185 µm high; tetrasporangia and bisporangia scattered across the conceptacle chamber floor or peripheral to a central columella, each mature sporangium 15–45 µm in diameter and 40–80 µm long, zonately divided.

Type from Port Phillip Bay, Vic. (collector and date unknown); holotype in CN (unnumbered); illustrated by Penrose (1990, fig. 18A–C).

Selected specimens: Point Sinclair, S. Aust., 0–2 m deep (Woelkerling, Platt & Jones, 15.ii.1984; LTB, 14486). Nine Mile Reef, 15 km W of Eyre, W. Aust., 0–3 m deep (Woelkerling, Platt & Jones, 1.i.1984; LTB, 13997). Cape Willoughby, Kangaroo I., S. Aust. (Campbell & Penrose, 6.iv.1988; LTB, 15615). Point Tinline, Kangaroo I., S. Aust., 0–1 m deep (Campbell & Penrose, 10.iv.1988; LTB, 15723). Point Lonsdale, Vic., tide pools (Jones, 25.viii.1982; LTB, 12527). Sorrento, Vic. (Jones, 23.iii.1981; LTB, 12530). Greens Beach, Tas., 1 m deep (Platt, 2.iii.1983; LTB, 13402). Bluestone Bay, Freycinet Pen., Tas., 0–4 m deep (Platt & Woelkerling, 21.ii.1983; LTB, 13038). Snug Cove, SW end of Clarke I., Tas., 6–7 m deep (Leach, 28.ii.1979; LTB, 11597).

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

Distribution: The Malay Archipelago; New Zealand; tropical W. Aust.

In southern Australia, Point Sinclair, S. Aust. eastwards to Sorrento, Vic., and around Tasmania.

Taxonomic notes: P. coronatum commonly grows intermixed with P. fragile on various algae and on the seagrass Amphibolis antarctica (Penrose 1990). An examination of the type of P. caulerpae has shown that it is conspecific with P. coronatum. Additional data have been provided by Penrose (1990).


ADEY, W.H. (1970). A revision of the Foslie crustose coralline herbarium. K. norske Vidensk. Selsk. Skr. 1970 (1), 1–46.

CHAMBERLAIN, Y.M. (1994a). Pneophyllum coronatum (Rosanoff) D. Penrose comb. nov., P. keatsii sp. nov., Spongites discoideus (Foslie) D. Penrose et Woelkerling and S. impar (Foslie) Y. Chamberlain comb. nov. (Rhodophyta, Corallinaceae) from South Africa. Phycologia 33, 141–157.

FOSLIE, M. (1906). Algologiske notiser II. K. norske Vidensk. Selsk. Skr. 1906(2), 1–28.

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

JONES, P.L. & WOELKERLING, Wm.J. (1984). An analysis of trichocyte and spore germination attributes as taxonomic characters in the Pneophyllum&ndsah;Fosliella complex (Corallinaceae, Rhodophyta). Phycologia 23, 183–194.

PENROSE, D.L. (1990). Taxonomic studies on Spongites and Neogoniolithon (Corallinaceae, Rhodophyta) in southern Australia. Unpublished PhD Thesis, La Trobe University, Bundoora, Victoria, Australia.

ROSANOFF, S. (1866). Recherches anatomiques sur les Mélobésiées. Mem. Soc. Imper. Sci. Nat. Cherbourg 12, 5–112, Plates 1–7.

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

Author: 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.

Illustration in Womersley Part IIIA, 1996: FIG. 122.

Figure 122 image

Figure 122   enlarge

Fig. 122. Pneophyllum coronatum (A, LTB, 13402; B, LTB, 13038; C, LTB, 12527; D, LTB, 14486). A. Plants epiphytic on stems of the seagrass Amphibolis antarctica. B. Section of tetrasporangial conceptacle with sporangia occurring across the chamber floor. C. Section of thallus that is 4 cells high in vegetative regions with tetrasporangial conceptacles containing sporangia peripherally in the chamber and a columella centrally. D. Section of conceptacle containing a carposporophyte with a fusion cell present across the chamber floor, gonimoblast filaments borne peripherally in the chamber at the margins of the fusion cell and bearing terminal carposporangia.

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