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Electronic Flora of South Australia Species Fact Sheet

Spyridia squalida J. Agardh 1876: 270; 1897: 16.

Phylum Rhodophyta – Order Ceramiales – Family Ceramiaceae – Tribe Spyridieae

Selected citations: De Toni 1903: 1436. Lucas 1909: 52; 1929b: 53. Lucas & Perrin 1947: 364. May 1965: 369. Okamura 1932: 130. Reinbold 1897: 60. Silva et al. 1996: 429. Sonder 1881: 16. Tate 1882: 18. Womersley & Cartledge 1975: 229, figs 3H, I, 4D, E.


S. wilsonis J. Agardh 1897: 16. De Toni 1903: 1435. Lucas 1909: 52. Lucas & Perrin 1947: 364. May 1965: 396. Okamura 1932: 130.

S. valida Sonder 1881: 16 (nomen nudum).

Thallus (Fig. 174A) grey-red to red-brown, when dried often appearing somewhat farinaceous, usually 10–30 cm high, robust, erect, irregularly and proliferously branched, with one to several axes, usually with long, much branched, laterals on all sides. All branches terete and corticated to their apices, axes and main branches linear, lesser branches (Fig. 174B) basally constricted and bearing densely arranged ramelli, especially on their upper parts, sometimes denuded below. Holdfast small, discoid; epilithic. Structure. Axes 1.5–2.5 mm in diameter, denuded below or with short, proliferous branches, tapering slightly to branches 1–1.5 mm in diameter and lesser branches 0.5–1 mm in diameter. Segments largely obscured by cortication (Fig. 174B), L/D 0.3–0.5, with 16 periaxial cells and about twice as many internodal cells; cortication commencing within a few axial cells of apices, pseudoparenchymatous, 2–3 cells thick on lesser branches, several cells thick on axes. Ramelli (Figs 173H, I, 174B) one per segment close to apices, originating from periaxial cells and also scattered, adventitious, densely covering the lesser branches, sometimes persisting onto larger branches; ramelli 0.5–1 (–1.5) mm and (10–) 14–20 (–24) cells long, larger cells (20–) 30–40 (–45) µm in diameter and L/D (1–) 1.5–2 (–2.5). Ramelli with a single row of small nodal cells (Fig. 173H, I) derived from 5–6 periaxial cells each of which cuts off 2–3 outer cells in the same transverse plane. Cells uninucleate; rhodoplasts discoid, becoming elongate in larger inner cells.

Reproduction: Gametophytes dioecious. Female axes developing as short, adventitious branchlets which are fairly heavily corticated but less so than in vegetative branches. Alternate segments each bear a procarp, with the sterile segments bearing ramelli. Usually three periaxial cells occur in fertile segments, one (the supporting cell) producing a 4-celled carpogonial branch. Two, or probably often 3, auxiliary cells are formed, leading to a carposporophyte with two or three lobes (Fig. 174I), short stalked and 0.5–0.8 mm in diameter (Fig. 174C, D). The pericarp develops similarly to that in other species. Spermatangia cover the lower 2–6 cells (except basal cell) of ramelli, forming a male organ 50–80 µm in diameter.

Tetrasporangia borne on the lower several cells of the ramelli, largely on the upper (adaxial) side, 1 (–2) per cell, sessile, spherical to slightly ovoid, 40–60 µm in diameter, tetrahedrally to sub-cruciately divided.

Type from "Nov. Holland. australem"; lectotype in Herb. Agardh, LD, 51533.

Selected specimens: Elliston Bay, S. Aust., 11 m deep (Shepherd, 14.v.1971; AD, A38641). 2 miles (3.2 km) SE of Troubridge I., S. Aust., 24 m deep (Shepherd, 5.ii.1969; AD, A33893). Marino, S. Aust., drift (Womersley, 11.viii.1966; AD, A30651). Port Noarlunga, S. Aust., on jetty, 2–5 m deep (Hergstrom & Owen, 19.vii.1970; AD, A35965). Victor Harbor, S. Aust., drift (Womersley, 18.iii.1966; AD, A30032). Port Elliot, S. Aust., sublittoral (Dodd, 12.iii.1963; AD, A26375). Seal Beach, Kangaroo I., S. Aust., drift (Womersley, 21.i.1965; AD, A28622). Stanley Beach, Kangaroo I., S. Aust., drift (Womersley, 27.i.1957; AD, A20815). North Walkerville, Vic., drift (Sinkora, 23.ii.1972–9.iii.1972; AD, A43236).

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

Distribution: Geographe Bay, W. Aust. to Waratah Bay, Vic., usually in deep water (2–24 m deep).

Taxonomic notes: S. squalida is a distinctive and robust species of Spyridia, having cortication to the apices and thus forming swollen, basally-constricted, lesser branches, bearing ramelli often densely scattered but usually soon denuded; the farinaceous appearance is also a common feature of older dried plants.

S. wilsonis J. Agardh is typical S. squalida. The type of the former is from Pt Phillip Hds, Vic. (J.B. Wilson, 1887; LD, 51532), and the thallus is not compressed as stated by J. Agardh (1897) and May (1965).

S. valida Sonder (1881: 16) is a nomen nudum, based on a specimen in MEL (45195) from Geographe Bay, W. Aust. (Bunbury, 1875), accompanied by Sonder's drawings. It is typical S. squalida.


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

AGARDH, J.G. (1897). Analecta Algologica. Cont. IV. Acta Univ. lund. 33, 1–106, Plates 1, 2.

DE TONI, G.B. (1903). Sylloge Algarum omnium hucusque Cognitarum. Vol. 4. Florideae. Sect. 3, pp. 775–1521 + 1523–1525. (Padua.)

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

LUCAS, A.H.S. (1909). Revised list of the Fucoideae and Florideae of Australia. Proc. Linn. Soc. N.S.W. 34, 9–60.

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.

OKAMURA, K. (1932). The distribution of marine benthic algae in Pacific waters. Rec. Océanogr. Works Jap. 3, 30–150.

REINBOLD, T. (1897). Die Algen der Lacepede und Guichen Bay und deren näherer Umgebung (Süd Australien), gesammelt von Dr. A. Engelhart-Kingston. Nuova Notarisia 8, 41–62.

SILVA, P.C., BASSON, P.W. & MOE, R.L. (1996). Catalogue of the Benthic Marine Algae of the Indian Ocean. (University of California Press: Berkeley, Los Angeles & London.)

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

TATE, R. (1882). A list of the charas, mosses, liverworts, lichens, fungs, and algals of extratropical South Australia. Trans. R. Soc. S. Aust. 4, 5–24.

WOMERSLEY, H.B.S. & CARTLEDGE, S.A. (1975). The southern Australian species of Spyridia (Ceramiaceae, Rhodophyta). Trans. R. Soc. S. Aust. 99(4), 221–234.

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

Author: H.B.S. Womersley

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 173H, I, 174.

Figure 173 image

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Fig. 173. A, B. Spyridia filamentosa (AD, A41815). A. Apex of a ramellus. B. Mid region of a ramellus. C–G. Spyridia tasmanica (C, D, AD, A41066; E, F, AD, A37622; G, AD, A35287). C, D. Apex and mid region of ramelli of a slender plant. E, F. Apex and mid region of ramelli of a robust plant. G. Female axis with a sreies of procarps. H, I. Spyridia squalida (AD, A26375). Apex and mid region of ramelli. J, K. Spyridia dasyoides (AD, A20170). Apex and mid region of ramelli. (All as in Womersley & Cartledge 1975, courtesy of R. Soc. S. Aust.)

Figure 174 image

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Fig. 174. Spyridia squalida (A, AD, A30032; B, AD, A26375; C, AD, A20815; D, AD, A30651). A. Habit. B. Lesser branches with ramelli. C. Branches with a young carposporophyte. D. Mature carposporophytes with pericarps. (A, B, as in Womersley & Cartledge 1975, courtesy of R. Soc. S. Aust.)

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