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Ballia callitricha (C. Agardh) Kützing 1843: 293.

Phylum Rhodophyta – Order Ceramiales – Family Ceramiaceae – Tribe Pterothamnieae

Selected citations: J. Agardh 1851: 75; 1876: 57; 1879, pl. III figs 1–11. Askenasy 1888: 38. Bastow 1899, pl. 2 fig. 55. Cotton 1915: 190. De Toni 1903: 1393. Ewart 1907: 91. Gain 1912: 75. Guiler 1952: 97. Harvey 1859b: 332; 1863, synop.: I. Kylin & Skottsberg 1919: 70. Laing 1905: 400; 1927: 174. Levring 1944: 16; 1945: 19; 1946: 224. Lucas 1909:51; 1929a: 25; 1929b: 52. Lucas & Perrin 1947: 350, fig. 174. May 1965: 367. Mazza 1911: No. 402. Montagne 1845: 94. Reinbold 1897: 60; 1899: 50; 1907: 575. Silva et al. 1996: 382. Stegenga 1986: 34. Stegenga et al. 1997: 392, pl. 146 fig. 1. Tisdall 1898: 502. Wilson 1892: 186. Wollaston 1968: 308, fig. 21A–I. Womersley 1950: 179; 1966: 151.


Sphacelaria callitricha C. Agardh 1824: 166; 1828: 23.

Ballia brunonia Harvey 1840: 191, pl. ix. Sonder 1853: 674; 1855: 513.

Ballia brunonis Hooker & Harvey 1847: 410. Sonder 1881: 11. Tate 1882: 16. Tisdall 1898: 502.

Thallus (Fig. 67A) medium to dark red-brown, erect, 10–20 (–36) cm high, alternately distichously and complanately branched (Fig. 67B) with prominent main axes and laterals, densely corticated below with entwined rhizoids. Holdfast rhizoidal, conical, 2–15 mm across with 1 to several axes; epilithic. Structure. Apical cells (Figs 66E, 67C) prominent, 130–180 µm in diameter and L/D 1–2, enlarging gradually to 200–300 µm in diameter and L/D 2–4 in lower axial cells, cells with upper concave and lower convex ends (Fig. 66H), pit-connections prominent and umbonate. Corticating rhizoids produced from basal cells of whorl-branchlets, forming a closely adherent layer, cells long and 25–40 µm in diameter, with curved, simple, branches arising from their cells. Whorl-branchlets (pinnae) in opposite pairs (Fig. 66F) (rarely in 3's) 5–10 mm long, closely branched with opposite, distichous, first simple but soon also pinnate, pinnules 200–500 µm long; basal cells of rachis of pinnae 60–90 µm in diameter and L/D 1–1.5, tapering gradually to subapical cells 12–18 µm in diameter and L/D 1.5–2, with rachides often continuing growth to form an extended filament (Fig. 66F, G) without pinnules. Whorl-branchlets and pinnules with the basal cell elongate (Fig. 67D) along the pinnule rachis cell, supra-basal cells 15–20 µm in diameter and L/D 1–1.5, tapering gradually, branches thereof 3–6 cells long, cells of similar dimensions, end cell pointed. Lateral branches occur in the position of whorl-branchlets, at irregular intervals and often in pairs. Cells uninucleate; rhodoplasts discoid in smaller cells, in chains in larger cells.

Reproduction: Gametophytes unknown.

Tetrasporangia (Fig. 66I) borne on special branch systems on the basal cells of pinnae, terminal, ovoid to subspherical, 40–55 µm in diameter, decussately divided.

Type from the Falkland Is (Gaudichaud); holotype in Herb. Agardh, LD, 19357.

Selected specimens: Nuyts Reef, Great Australian Bight, S. Aust., 20 m deep (Shepherd, 26.iii.1980; AD, A52291). Pearson I., S. Aust., 20–23 m deep (Shepherd &Turner, 29.iii.1982; AD, A53039). Hopkins I., S. Aust., 25 m deep (Branden, 17.xi.1990; AD, A60845). Pondalowie Bay, S. Aust., 5–8 m deep (Shepherd, 14.iv.1963; AD, A26594). West I., S. Aust., 20 m deep (Shepherd, 17.viii.1968; AD, A32638). Port Elliot, S. Aust., drift (Womersley, 8.v.1955; AD, A19894). Vivonne Bay, Kangaroo I., S. Aust., drift (Womersley, 29.viii.1950; AD, A15312). Pelorus I., S of Kangaroo I., S. Aust., 10–30 m deep (Branden, 19.vi.1981; AD, A61404). Ironstone Point, E of Penneshaw, Kangaroo I., S. Aust., 6 m deep (Lavers, 13.iii.1996; AD, A64816). Robe, S. Aust., ( Womersley, 29.viii.1949; AD, A11036). 1.3 km off Cape Northumberland, S. Aust., 15 m deep (Shepherd, 3.vii.1975; AD, A46374). Lady Julia Percy I., Vic., 8–10 m deep (Shepherd, Si.. 1968; AD, A32362). Point Lonsdale, Vic., drift (Sinkora A1061, 8.xi.1970; AD, A45964). Walkerville, Vic., drift (Sinkora A2167, 7.iii.1975; AD, A48297). Gabo I., Vic., 3–13 m deep (Watson, 14.v.1970; AD, A35899). Ulverstone, Tas., drift (Wollaston, 7.viii. 1965; AD, A29620). Bicheno, Tas., 8–12 m deep (Edgar, 23.x.1994; AD, A63822). Clydes I., Tasman Pen., Tas., 8–10 m deep (Gowlett-Holmes, 23.iv.1995; AD, A64437). Hope I., Port Esperance, Tas., 4-S m deep (Sanderson, 17.x.1994; AD, A64079). Green Cape, N.S.W., 1–6 m deep (Shepherd, 13.ii.1973; AD, A43301).

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

Distribution: Cooler and subantarctic waters of the Southern Hemisphere; in southern Australia, from Nuyts Reef, S. Aust., to Green Cape, N.S.W., and around Tasmania, with one record from Geographe Bay, W. Aust. (MEL, 8515).

Taxonomic notes: Ballia callitricha is one of the commonest species of Rhodophyta on southern Australia coasts, usually in relatively deep water or under an algal canopy.


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

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

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

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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 66 E–I, 67.

Figure 66 image

Figure 66   enlarge

Fig. 66. A–D. Pterothamnion flexile (AD, A46637). A. Branch apices with unilateral development of whorl-branchlets. B. Attachment rhizoid developed by elongation of a branch axis. C. Lateral branch arising from basal cell of a whorl-branchlet, with gland cells. D. Tetrasporangia on a whorl-branchlet cell. (As in Wollaston 1981, courtesy of Pacific Science, Univ. Hawaii Press.) Ballia callitricha (AD, uncertain). E. Branch apex with large apical cell. F. Lateral whorl-branchlets with extended rachides. G. Part of an indeterminate branch with a lateral whorl-branchlet and basal cells of others. H. Junction of two axial cells. L Tetrasporangial branches on basal cell of a whorl-branchlet. J, K. Ballia pennoides (AD, uncertain). I. Whorl-branchlet with simple pinnules. K. Rhizoidal filament on basal cell of a whorl-branchlet. (E–K, as in Wollaston 1968, courtesy of Aust. J. Bot.)

Figure 67 image

Figure 67   enlarge

Fig. 67. Ballia callitricha (AD, A46374). A. Habit. B. Branch with apical cell and lateral pinnate pinnae. C. Apical part of axis with young pinnae. D. Older axial cells with bases of pinnae and filaments from transversely elongate basal cells.

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