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Webervanbossea splachnoides (Harvey) J. De Toni 1936: 6.

Phylum Rhodophyta – Class Florideophyceae – Order Rhodymeniales – Family Rhodymeniaceae

Selected citations: Huisman 1995: 368. May 1965: 361.


Bindera splachnoides Harvey 1859a, pl. 111, figs 1, 2 (non figs 5 & 6). J. Agardh 1876: 536; 1885: 46. De Toni 1900b: 548. Guiler 1952: 93. Kylin 1931: 5, fig. 1A -C; 1956: 329, fig. 255A, B. Lucas 1929b: 50. Lucas & Perrin 1947: 204, fig. 68a-d. Reinbold 1899: 45. Sonder 1881: 25. Wilson 1892: 172.

Chondrosiphon splachnoides (Harvey) Kützing 1869: 7, pl. 19.

Halymenia saccata Harvey 1860a: 327; 1860b: pl. 133. J. Agardh 1876: 141.

Bindera saccata (Harvey) J. Agardh 1885: 46. De Toni 1900b: 549. Lucas 1929a: 19.

Thallus (Fig. 20A) medium red to red-brown, (5–) 10–30 cm high, much branched with hollow (mucilage filled), percurrent, terete axes and main branches bearing radially elongate-ovoid to terete and tapering laterals for 3–4 orders, all with a slender basal constriction, apices rounded to pointed. Axes 3–10 mm in diameter, laterals 2–8 (–12) mm in diameter, ultimate branchlets 0.5–3 (–6) cm long and 2–4 mm in diameter. Holdfast discoid, epiphytic or epilithic. Structure multiaxial, with a cortex 80–120 µm and 2–3 (–4) cells thick, outer cells in short anticlinal chains of 2 (–3) cells, arranged in rosettes around inner cortical cells, outer cells ovoid and 2–3 µm in diameter, and a large celled medulla 1 (–2) cells thick, inner cells ovoid, 45–75 (–130) µm in diameter with walls 3–15 (–40) µm thick bordering the mucilage filled cavity. Long, branched, slender filaments extend over the inner medullary cells from stellate initials, often interconnecting, and bear few to numerous intercalary or lateral, ovoid, secretory cells (Fig. 20B) 8–15 (–25) µm in diameter; lax, often tufted, slender filaments (not bearing secretory cells) are common in older segments, particularly on or near the partitions (Fig. 20C). Constrictions 1–1.5 mm, thick, pseudoparenchymatous (Fig. 20C). Rhodoplasts discoid to elongate, in chains in inner cells.

Reproduction: Gametangial thalli dioecious. Carpogonial branches 3-celled, borne on inner cortical (supporting) cells which also bear the auxiliary initial and auxiliary cell (Huisman 1995). Carposporophytes (Fig. 20D) globular, 300–400 µm across with a basal, erect, fusion cell and (1–) 2–3 compact lobes of ovoid to angular carposporangia 16–30 µm in diameter. Basal nutritive tissue relatively slight, erect filaments present when young but soon disintegrating leaving stellate cells with long arms; inner medullary cells remaining as a distinct, depressed layer under the carposporophyte. Cystocarps (Fig. 20D) internal, 500–800 µm in diameter, not or only slightly bulging the thallus; pericarp flat topped, 70–120 µm and 6–10 (–15) cells thick, cells in anticlinal chains, ovoid, innermost stellate, ostiolate. Spermatangia (Fig. 20E) in surface sori, cut off from outer cortical cells, ovoid, 1–2 µm in diameter.

Tetrasporangia (Fig. 20F) in discrete, scattered, ovate to elongate, nemathecia 0.5–1 mm across and 60–85 µm thick. Paraphyses (2–) 4–6 cells long, branched, cells elongate; tetrasporangia lateral, pit-connected to inner cortical cells, ovoid, 25–35 µm in diameter, decussately or cruciately divided.

Type from Garden I., W. Aust.; lectotype in Herb. Harvey, TCD.

Selected specimens: Hopetoun, W. Aust., drift (Gordon, 20.xi.1968; AD, A34170). Egg I., Isles of St Francis, S. Aust., 32–38 m deep (Shepherd, 11.i.1971; AD, A38108). Topgallant I., S. Aust., 10 m deep (O'Leary, 20.i.1992; AD, A61671). Waldegrave I., S. Aust., 22 m deep (Shepherd, 23.x.1970; AD, A37410). Pearson I., S. Aust., 13–23 m deep (Shepherd, 8.i.1969; AD, A34099). West Point, Eyre Pen., S. Aust. 15–25 m deep (Shepherd, 25.x.1969; AD, A34766). Avoid Bay, S. Aust., drift (Womersley, 30.xi.1975; AD, A46848). Wedge I., S. Aust., 11 m deep (Baldock, 28.xii.1963; AD, A27247). Tiparra Reef, S. Aust., 11 m deep (Shepherd, 31.x.1970; AD, A37651). Stenhouse Bay, S. Aust., 3–7 m deep (Kraft, 18.ix.1973; AD, A44566). Vivonne Bay, Kangaroo I., S. Aust., 0–5 m deep (Kraft & MM-TheM, 4.xii.1971; AD, A41411). Pennington Bay, Kangaroo I., S. Aust., drift (Womersley, 22.viii.1954; AD, A19750). Port Phillip Hds, Vic. (Wilson, 28.i.1886; AD, A886). Musselroe Bay, Tas. (Perrin, 7 .ii.1948; AD, A49705).

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

Distribution: Houtman Abrolhos, W. Aust. (Huisman 1995) to Port Phillip Heads, Vic., and the N coast of Tasmania.

Taxonomic notes: In TCD there are (1952) four specimens of Bindera splachnoides Harvey. Three are tetrasporangial and are W. splachnoides, while the fourth is cystocarpic Binderella neglecta Schmitz (=Amphiplexia hymenocladioides J. Agardh).

W. splachnoides is essentially a deep-water alga on moderate to rough-water coasts.


AGARDH, J.G. (1876). Species Genera et Ordines Algarum. Vol. 3, Part 1 — Epicrisis systematis Floridearum, pp. i-vii, 1–724. (Weigel: Leipzig.)

AGARDH, J.G. (1885). Till algernes systematik. VII. Florideae. Acta Univ. lund. 21, 1–120, 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.)

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

HARVEY, W.H. (1859a). Phycologia Australica. Vol. 2, Plates 61–120. (Reeve: London.)

HUISMAN, J.M. (1995). The morphology and taxonomy of Webervanbossea De Toni f. (Rhodyméniales, Rhodophyta). Cryptogamic Bot. 5, 367–374.

KÜTZING, F.T. (1869). Tabulae Phycologicae. Vol. 19. (Nordhausen.)

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

KYLIN, H. (1956). Die Gattungen der Rhodophyceen. (Gleerups: Lund.)

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

LUCAS, A.H.S. (1929a). The marine algae of Tasmania. Pap. Proc. R. Soc. Tasm. 1928, 6–27.

LUCAS, A.H.S. (1929b). A census of the marine algae of South Australia. Trans. R. Soc. S. Aust. 53, 45–53.

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.

REINBOLD, T. (1899). Meeresalgen von Investigator Street (Slid Australien), gesammelt von Miss Nellie Davey (Waltham, Honiton). Hedwigia 38, 39–51.

SONDER, O.W. (1881). In Mueller, F., Fragmenta Phytographiae Australiae. Supplementum ad volumen undecinum: Algae Australianae hactenus cognitae, pp. 1–42, 105–107. (Melbourne.)

WILSON, J.B. (1892). Catalogue of algae collected at or near Port Phillip Heads and Western Port. Proc. R. Soc. Vict. 4, 157–190.

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. 20.

Figure 20 image

Figure 20   enlarge

Fig. 20. Webervanbossea splachnoides (A, AD, A61671; B, E, AD, A34766; C, AD, A38108; D, F, AD, A37410). A. Habit. B. Filaments on the inside of the medulla, bearing secretory cells. C. Longitudinal section of a branch through a constriction. D. Section through a cystocarp. E Transverse section of a spermatangial sorus. F. Transverse section of a tetrasporangial nemathecium.

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