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Antithamnionella spirographidis (Schiffner) Wollaston 1968: 345, fig. 29.

Phylum Rhodophyta – Order Ceramiales – Family Ceramiaceae – Tribe Heterothamnieae

Selected citations: Athanasiadis 1996: 121, fig. 57. Maggs & Hommersand 1993: 17, fig. 5. Millar & Kraft 1993: 36. Stegenga et al. 1997: 386.


Antithamnion spirographidis Schiffner 1916: 137, figs 19–27. Feldmann-Mazoyer 1941: 265, figs 85,99. Westbrook 1934: 65, figs 1–6.

Thallus (Fig. 77C) medium red-brown, with prostrate axes bearing free, flexuous, branches 4–10 mm long from usually every fourth cell, each axial cell with (1–) 2 (–3) mostly simple p,m and 10–15 cells long, basal cells 8–14 µm in diameter and L/D 1.5–2, tapering to terminal cells 5–8 µm in diameter and L/D 1.5–2.5, with rounded ends and tapering only slightly; basal cells usually as long as next cells; gland cells (Fig. 78N) occur usually on second or third cells of whorl-branchlets of the upper thallus, touching only the bearing cell, 10–14 µm in diameter, ovoid. Cells uninucleate; rhodoplasts discoid in small cells, becoming ribbon like in larger axial cells.

Reproduction: Gametophytes probably monoecious. Carpogonial branches (Fig. 78P) occur on the basal cells of 2-celled whorl-branchlets, usually singly near branch apices, with thallus growth continuing from a lateral below the fertile apex. Following fusion between the fertilized carpogonium and auxiliary cell via a connecting cell, a terminal gonimolobe (Fig. 78Q) develops from the central cell and later 2–3 lateral gonimolobes, as rounded groups 70–140 µm across of carposporangia 10–15 µm in diameter; no involucral branches occur (Fig. 77D). Spermatangial clusters (Fig. 78R) occur adaxially on cells of the whorl-branchlets, with 2–4 lateral spermatangia from initials.

Tetrasporangia (Figs 77E, 78S) occur singly on the basal (and occasionally second) cells of whorl-branchlets, sessile, ovoid, 25–35 µm in diameter, subdecussately divided.

Type from Trieste, Italy (Schaffner, 12.viii.1914); holotype in BERL, 16841; isotype in BM.

Selected specimens: Port Adelaide, S. Aust., low tide level on barge (Womersley, 11.vii.1957; AD, A21323 and 12.ix.1958; AD, A22033) and (Wollaston, 25.xi.1957; AD, A21324). Point Wilson, Port Phillip, Vic., drift (Brown, Feb. 1981, AD, A52041). Rozelle Screens, White Bay Power Stn, Sydney, N.S.W. (15.ix.1953; AD, A29888).

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

Distribution: Widespread on European coasts, the N Pacific, and Australia.

In southern Australia known from Port Adelaide and Kingscote, Kangaroo I., S. Aust., and Point Wilson, Port Phillip, Victoria. Sydney, N.S.W.

Taxonomic notes: Antithamnionella spirographidis is found in harbours in southern Australia and is probably an adventive species.


ATHANASIADIS, A. (1996). Morphology and classification of the Ceramioideae (Rhodophyta) based on phylogenetic principles. Opera Botanica No. 128, pp. 1–216.

FELDMANN-MAZOYER, G. (1941). Recherches sur les Céramiacées de la Méditerranée occidentale. (Algiers.)

MAGGS, C.A. & HOMMERSAND, M.H. (1993). Seaweeds of the British Isles. Vol. 1. Rhodophyta. Part 3A, Ceramiales. (HMSO: London.)

MILLAR, A.J.K. & KRAFT, G.T. (1993). Catalogue of marine and freshwater Red Algae (Rhodophyta) of New South Wales, including Lord Howe Island, South-western Pacific. Aust. Syst. Bot. 6, 1–90.

SCHIFFNER, V. (1916). Studien ueber die Algen des adriatischen Meeres. Wiss. Meeresunters. N.F. Abt. Helg. 11, 129–198.

STEGENGA, H., BOLTON, J.J. & ANDERSON, R.J. (1997). Seaweeds of the South African West Coast. Contributions from the Bolus Herbarium, No. 18.

WESTBROOK, M.A. (1934). Antithamnion spirographidis Schiffner. J. Bot (London) 72, 65–68.

WOLLASTON, E.M. (1968).Morphology and taxonomy of southern Australian genera of Crouanieae Schmitz (Ceramiaceae, Rhodophyta). Aust. J. Bot. 16, 217–417.

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

Author: H.B.S. Womersley & E.M. Wollaston

Publication: Womersley, H.B.S. (24 December, 1998)
The Marine Benthic Flora of Southern Australia
Rhodophyta. Part IIIC. Ceramiales – Ceramiaceae, Dasyaceae
©State Herbarium of South Australia, Government of South Australia

Illustrations in Womersley Part IIIA, 1998: FIGS 77 C–E, 78 J–S.

Figure 77 image

Figure 77   enlarge

Fig. 77. A, B. Antithamnionella ternifolia (A, AD, A64795; B, AD, A41319). A. Branches with spermatangia. B. Branches with tetrasporangia. C–E. Antithamnionella spirographidis (AD, A21324). C. Habit. D. Thallus with carposporophytes. E. Axial cells with whorl-branchlets bearing tetrasporangia.

Figure 78 image

Figure 78   enlarge

Fig. 78. A–I. Antithamnionella ternifolia (AD, A28007). A. Thallus with prostrate and erect axes. B. Axis with whorl-branchlets and gland cells. C. Axial cell with branched whorl-branchlets. D. Axial cell with a whorl-branchlet bearing an attachment rhizoid and a young lateral from the second cell. E. Young apex with a procarp. F. Division of auxiliary cell to produce a young gonimoblast, with fusion of the lower cells. G. Carposporophyte with successive gonimolobes. H. Spermatangial clusters on cells of a whorl-branchlet. I. Tetrasporangia on basal cells of whorl-branchlets. J–S. Antithamnionella spirographidis (J–Q, S, AD, A21324; R, AD, A29888). J. Habit. K. Prostrate and erect branches with opposite whorl-branchlets. L. Branch apex with developing whorl-branchlets. M. Attachment rhizoids on the first or second cells of whorl-branchlets. N. Gland cell on a whorl-branchlet. O. Attachment rhizoid on a basal cell of a whorl-branchlet. P. Carpogonial branch on basal cell of a 2-celled branchlet. Q. A young carposporophyte. R. Spermatangial clusters on lower cells of a whorl-branchlet. S. Branch with tetrasporangia. (All as in Wollaston 1968, courtesy of Aust. J. Bot.)

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