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Tiffaniella cymodoceae (Børgesen) Gordon 1972: 121, figs 39D–F, 40.

Phylum Rhodophyta – Order Ceramiales – Family Ceramiaceae – Tribe Spermothamnieae

Selected citations: Huisman et al. 1990: 97. Kendrick et al. 1990: 52. Norris & Aken 1985: 60, figs 23–25. Silva et al. 1996: 430. Stegenga 1986: 126, pls 45,46. Stegenga et al. 1997: 456. Wollaston 1984: 296.


Spermothamnion cymodoceae Børgesen 1952: 54, figs 27,28.

Thallus (Fig. 100A) medium to dark red-brown, forming spreading tufts on the hosts, 3–7 mm high, with prostrate filaments bearing subdichotomous erect filaments. Attachment of prostrate filaments by digitate haptera; epiphytic on Codium galeatum and C. laminarioides. Structure. Prostrate filaments 40–90 µm in diameter, cells L/D 2–3.5; erect filaments tapering only slightly, median cells 30–90 µm in diameter and L/D 3–7.5. Cells multinucleate; rhodoplasts discoid.

Reproduction: Gametophytes dioecious or monoecious. Female axes (Fig. 100B) usually lateral, 4–5 (–13) cells long, the last 4 cells short and the fifth 4–5 times as long as the fourth cell. Subapical cell with 3 periaxial cells, one sterile, one fertile and cutting off an auxiliary cell, and the other (supporting) cell bearing a terminal sterile cell and lateral carpogonial branch (Fig. 100B). The hypogenous and subhypogenous cells do not bear any lateral involucral filaments before or after fertilization. Post-fertilization the carpogonial branch cells fuse and both auxiliary cells are involved in the two-armed fusion cell (Fig. 100C), which cuts off small gonimoblast cells and ovoid terminal carposporangia 20–45 µm in diameter, without any involucral branchlets. Spermatangial heads (Fig. 100D, E) are 30–50 µm in diameter and L/D 2–3, sessile or on short pedicels on upper parts of erect filaments.

Tetrasporangia (Fig. 100F) are clustered on short pedicels on upper parts of erect filaments, 40–50 µm in diameter, undivided in Australian collections (AD, A52059, A32149).

Type from Riambel, Mauritius (Vaughan 996, on Cymodocea); in C. Isotype in AD, A17892.

Selected specimens: Hopetoun, W. Aust., drift on Codium galeatum (Gordon, 20.xi.1968; AD, A33181). Nuyts Reef, S. Aust., 30 m deep on Codium laminarioides (Shepherd, 26.iii.1980; AD, A52059). Seal Bay, Kangaroo I., S. Aust., drift on C. galeatum (Gordon, 31.x.1966; AD, A32149).

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

Distribution: Mauritius, South Africa.

Shark Bay, W. Aust. to Seal Bay, Kangaroo I., S. Australia.

Taxonomic notes: Gordon (1972, p. 121) records T. cymodoceae on Amphibolis, but all specimens in AD are on Codium.


BØRGESEN, F. (1952). Some marine algae from Mauritius. Additions to the parts previously published. IV. K. Dan. Vidensk. Selsk. Biol. Meddr 18(19), 1–72, Plates 1–5.

GORDON, E.M. (1972). Comparative morphology and taxonomy of the Wrangelieae, Sphondylothamnieae and Spermothamnieae (Ceramiaceae, Rhodophyta). Aust. J. Bot. suppl. 4, 1–180.

HUISMAN, J.M., KENDRICK, G.A., WALKER, D.I. & COUTÉ, A. (1990). The Marine Algae of Shark Bay, Western Australia. Research in Shark Bay. Report of the France-Australe Bicentenary Expedition Committee, pp. 89–100.

KENDRICK, G.A., HUISMAN, J.M. & WALKER, D.I. (1990). Benthic macroalgae of Shark Bay, Western Australia. Bot. Mar 33, 47–54.

NORRIS, R.E. & AKEN, M.E. (1985). Marine benthic algae new to South Africa. S. Afr. J. Bot. 51, 55–65.

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.)

STEGENGA, H. (1986). The Ceramiaceae (excl. Ceramium) (Rhodophyta) of the South West Cape Province, South Africa. Bibl. Phycol. 74, 1–149.

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

WOLLASTON, E.M. (1984). Species of Ceramiaceae (Rhodophyta) recorded from the International Indian Ocean Expedition, 1962. Phycologia 23, 281–299.

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

Illustration in Womersley Part IIIA, 1998: FIG. 100.

Figure 100 image

Figure 100   enlarge

Fig. 100. Tiffaniella cymodoceae (AD, A32149). A. Prostrate and erect axes. B. Fertile axis with procarp system. C. Mature carposporophyte with procarp system on left. D. Erect axis with spermatangial heads. E. Longitudinal section of a spermatangial head. F. Erect axis with undivided tetrasporangia. (All as in Gordon 1972, courtesy of Aust. J. Bot.)

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