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Webervanbossea kaliformis (J. Agardh) J. De Toni 1936: 6.

Phylum Rhodophyta – Class Florideophyceae – Order Rhodymeniales – Family Rhodymeniaceae

Selected citations: Huisman & Walker 1990: 416. May 1965: 361.


Bindera kaliformis J. Agardh 1896: 75. De Toni 1900b: 549. Kylin 1931: 7, fig. 1D, pl. 1 fig. 1. Lucas & Perrin 1947: 204. Womersley 1950: 174.

Thallus (Fig. 21A) medium to dark red-brown, mucilaginous, 10–25 cm high, with percurrent axes bearing hollow, segmented laterals irregularly radially for 2–4 orders, arising from any position on parent segments but mainly apically on lesser branches with some segments without laterals; segments with a slender constriction; lower segments elongate-ovoid, 2–4 cm long and 5–10 mm in diameter, decreasing in size to upper segments mostly 0.5–2 cm long and 2–4 mm in diameter. Holdfast discoid, 1–3 mm across; epilithic. Structure multiaxial, with a cortex 20–45 µm and 3–4 cells thick, outer cells in short anticlinal chains of 2–3 cells, arising from a layer of ovoid cells 6–10 µm in diameter over the medullary cells, surface rosettes not apparent, outer cortical cells ovoid and 3–4 µm in diameter; medulla as a distinct layer one cell thick, cells ovoid and 40–100 µm in diameter with walls (6–) 10–25 µm thick, with smaller cells lying between the larger cells over their joins and under the cortex. Long, branched, slender filaments (Fig. 21B) extend from stellate cells on some inner medullary cells and bear lateral, ovoid, secretory cells 6–10 µm in diameter, and in older segments lax, branched, slender filaments are common within the mucilage-filled cavity. Constrictions (Fig. 21C) are partitioned by essentially monostromatic layers of large cells, with small irregular cells and filaments forming a thin layer on each side. Rhodoplasts discoid, in chains in inner cells.

Reproduction: Gametangial thalli probably dioecious. Carpogonial and auxiliary cell branches not observed. Carposporophytes (Fig. 21D) 350–450 µm across, with a basal, erect, fusion cell and a dense mass of ovoid carposporangia each 15–30 µm in diameter, with younger lobes developing. Basal nutritive tissue relatively slight, erect filaments persistent, of stellate filaments with long arms. Cystocarps (Fig. 21D) slightly protruding but largely immersed, 500–900 µm across, with a distinct layer of large medullary cells at their base; pericarp 100–200 µm and 10–15 cells thick, ostiolate. Spermatangia unknown.

Tetrasporangia (Fig. 21E) in scattered nemathecia 0.5–1 mm across and 120–180 µm thick. Paraphyses 6–8 cells long, lower cells elongate, upper ovoid and often branched, tetrasporangia lateral, pit-connected to a lower cell of the paraphyses, ovoid, (16–) 20–40 µm in diameter, decussately divided.

Type from Waterloo Bay, S. Aust. (O'Halloran); holotype in Herb. Agardh, LD, 25731.

Selected specimens: Egg I., Isles of St Francis, S. Aust., 32–38 m deep (Shepherd, 11.i.1971; AD, A38107). Elliston, S. Aust., drift (Womersley, 27.ii.1959; AD, A22179). Wanna, S. Aust., drift (Womersley, 19.ii.1959; AD, A22369). Hopkins I., S. Aust., 33 m deep (Branden, 8.i.1989; AD, A60007). Investigator Strait, S. Aust., 33 m deep (Watson, 24.i.1971; AD, A41073). Western R., Kangaroo I., S. Aust., drift (Womersley, 7.i.1946; AD, A2964 and 2.i.1949; AD, A10650). Vivonne Bay, Kangaroo I., S. Aust., drift (Womersley, 14.i.1948; AD, A6927). Walkerville, Vic., drift (Sinkora A1639, 23.ii.1972; AD, A43164).

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

Distribution: Isles of St Francis, S. Aust., to Walkerville, Vic.

Taxonomic notes: The type locality is probably Waterloo Bay on the south coast of Yorke Peninsula (not Waterloo Bay on Eyre Peninsula) and the collector is O'Halloran (not 'Halloran' as given with the type description).

W. kaliformis differs from W. splachnoides in habit, having constrictions along the length of the branches, and also in having more persistent erect filaments from the nutritive tissue. It is essentially a deep-water species of the central and eastern region of southern Australia.


AGARDH, J.G. (1896). Analecta Algologica. Cont. III. Acta Univ. lund. 32, 1–140, Plate 1.

DE TONI, G.B. (1900b). Sylloge Algarum omnium hucusque Cognitarum. Vol. 4. Florideae. Sect. 2, pp. 387–776. (Padua.)

DE TONI, J. (1936). Noterelle di nomenclatura algologica. VII. Primo elenco di Floridée omonime. (Brescia, priv. publ.)

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.

KYLIN, H. (1931). Die Florideenordnung Rhodyméniales. Lunds Univ. Årsskr. N.F. Avd. 2, 27 (11), 1–48, Plates 1–20.

LUCAS, A.H.S. & PERRIN, F. (1947). The Seaweeds of South Australia. Part 2. The Red Seaweeds. (Govt Printer: Adelaide.)

MAY, V. (1965). A census and key to the species of Rhodophyceae (red algae) recorded from Australia. Contr. N.S.W. natn. Herb. 3, 349–429.

WOMERSLEY, H.B.S. (1950). The marine algae of Kangaroo Island. III. List of Species 1. Trans. R. Soc. S. Aust. 73, 137–197.

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.

Illustration in Womersley Part IIIA, 1996: FIG. 21.

Figure 21 image

Figure 21   enlarge

Fig. 21. Webervanbossea kaliformis (A, AD, A10650; B, C, AD, A38107; D, E, AD, A6927). A. Habit. B. Filaments with secretory cells, on the inside of the medulla. C. Longitudinal section of a branch through a constriction. D. Section through a cystocarp. E. Transverse section of a tetrasporangial nemathecium.

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