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Electronic Flora of South Australia Species Fact Sheet

Wrangelia plumosa Harvey 1844: 450; 1859b: 308; 1863, synop.: xxvii.

Phylum Rhodophyta – Order Ceramiales – Family Ceramiaceae – Tribe Wrangelieae

Selected citations: J. Agardh 1852: 706; 1876: 624. De Toni 1897: 136. Gordon 1972: 21, figs 4, 5, 10G, J, 47, 48A, 49A, B, 51, 62. Guiler 1952: 99. Hooker & Harvey 1847: 410. Huisman 1997: 200. Huisman & Walker 1990: 426. Huisman et al. 1990: 97. Kendrick et al. 1988: 204; 1990: 52. Kützing 1849: 664. Lucas 1909:23; 1929a: 16. Lucas & Perrin 1947: 143, fig. 16. May 1965: 365. Millar 1990: 401, fig. 48A, B. Saenger 1967: 170. Silva et al. 1996: 432. Sonder 1881:29. Tisdall 1898: 511. Wilson 1892: 170. Womersley 1950: 181.


Dasya pallida Sonder 1845: 53; 1848: 179. De Toni 1903: 1216.

Wrangelia gunniana J. Agardh 1876: 617. De Toni 1897: 128. Guiler 1952: 99. Lucas 1909: 22; 1929a: 16. May 1965: 365. Sonder 1881:28.

Wrangelia penicillata sensu Harvey 1855a: 545; 1863, synop. xxvii. Lucas 1909: 23. May 1965: 365. Sonder 1881:29.

Thallus (Fig. 5A) purplish-red to yellow-red, (2–) 5–10 (–25) cm high, alternately pinnately branched for 3–4 orders, outline broadly pyramidal. Holdfast discoid, 2–8 mm across, rhizoidal; epilithic. Structure. Apical cells (Fig. 6A) dividing slightly obliquely and enlarging gradually to 400–500 µm in diameter and 1.5–2.5 mm long near the base. Each axial cell with 5 whorl-branchlets, developed from periaxial cells cut off usually in alternating order. Mature whorl-branchlets 1–2 mm long, overlapping only near branch apices, subdichotomously branched 5–8 times with ultimate branches 2–4 (–6) cells long, median cells (20–) 40–70 1.1m in diameter and L/D (3.5–) 5–8, terminal cells 12–20 µm in diameter and L/D 2–6. Indeterminate lateral branches arising from basal cells of first-formed whorl-branchlets. Cortication by descending rhizoids from the basal cells of whorl-branchlets, forming a cortex up to 1 mm thick. Cells uninucleate; rhodoplasts discoid, in chains and reticulate in larger cells.

Reproduction: Gametophytes dioecious. Procarps (Fig. 6B) formed successively on up to 7 axial cells, supporting cell without a terminal sterile cell. Post fertilization development as in W abietina, with usually only one carposporophyte per fertile axis, carposporophyte (Fig. 5B) with intermixed sterile whorl-branchlets, the whole subspherical and 450–900 (–1200) µm across. Spermatangia terminal on radiating filaments of subspherical pedicellate heads (Fig. 6C) 80–110 µm in diameter, clustered from axial cells with all but one whorl-branchlet reduced to fewer and shorter involucral cells.

Tetrasporangia are terminal on short filaments arising from lower cells of modified whorl-branchlets (Fig. 6D), each sporangium surrounded by 2–5 curved involucral branches; tetrasporangia 50–80 (–100) µm in diameter, tetrahedrally divided.

Type from Georgetown, Tas. (Gunn); lectotype (Gunn 1315) in Herb. Harvey, TCD.

Selected specimens: Yanchep, W. Aust., drift (Womersley, 22.ix.1979; AD, A51323). Point Peron, W. Aust., pools on reef (Mitchell, 22.ix.1966; AD, A30744). Venus Bay, S. Aust., sublittoral fringe (Womersley, 12.ii.1954; AD, A19529). Cape Carnot, S. Aust., low eulittoral (Womersley, 8.i.1951; AD, A13640). Cable Hut Bay, Yorke Pen., S. Aust., low eulittoral (Womersley, 8.xi.1980; AD, A51845 -"Marine Algae of southern Australia" No. 313). Aldinga, S. Aust., upper sublittoral on reef edge (Womersley, 12.xii.1993; AD, A63241). Vivonne Bay, Kangaroo I., S. Aust., lower eulittoral on jetty (Bailey, 31.x.1966; AD, A30825). Muston, Kangaroo I., S. Aust., channel edge (Womersley, 29.ix.1964; AD, A28224). Robe, S. Aust., lower eulittoral (Gordon, 18.v.1964; AD, A27894). Point Roadknight, Vic., pools (Mitchell, 26.viii.1965; AD, A29569). Point Lonsdale, Vic., pools (Sinkora A912, 8.xi.1970; AD, A62676). Walkerville, Vic., low eulittoral (Sinkora A2628, 22.xi.1979; AD, A61032). Low Head, Tas. (Perrin, Oct. 1934; AD, A16416). Tesselated Pavement, Eaglehawk Neck, Tas., lower eulittoral (Gordon, 18.i.1966; AD, A30114). Kurnell, Botany Bay, N.S.W., uppermost sublittoral (Womersley, 26.xii.1962; AD, A26428). Port Stephens, N.S.W. (Benes, 4.xii.1950; AD, A17210).

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

Distribution: Shark Bay, W. Aust. (Huisman & Walker 1990) to Coffs Harbour, N.S.W. (Millar 1990), and around Tasmania.

Taxonomic notes: W. plumosa is common in lower eulittoral or uppermost sublittoral habitats, in contrast to the deeper water W abietina. It differs from the latter in having median cells of whorl-branchlets 40–70 µm in diameter (25–30 µm in W abietina) with the ultimate branches of 2–4 (–6) cells (9–10 cells in W. abietina ) and in having small-celled involucral branches around the tetrasporangia.

W plumosa is recorded from Coffs Harbour, N.S.W., by Millar (1990, p. 401) who comments on the absence of reduced involucral branches around the tetrasporangia; further comparisons are necessary.

The type of Dasya pallida Sonder, from "occid. Nov. Holl." (Preiss) is Wrangelia plumosa (lectotype in HBG, checked by E.G-M. and M.J.P, Dec. 1982).


AGARDH, J.G. (1852). Species Genera et Ordines Algarum. Vol. 2, Part 2, pp. 337–720. (Gleerup: Lund.)

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

DE TONI, G.B. (1897). Sylloge Algarum omnium hucusque Cognitarum. Vol. 4. Florideae. Sect. 1, pp. 1–388. (Padua.)

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

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

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

HARVEY, W.H. (1844). Algae of Tasmania. Lond. J. Bot. 3, 428–454.

HARVEY, W.H. (1855a). Some account of the marine botany of the colony of Western Australia. Trans. R. Jr. Acad. 22, 525–566.

HARVEY, W.H. (1859b). Algae. In Hooker, J.D., The Botany of the Antarctic Voyage. III. Flora Tasmaniae. Vol. II, pp. 282–343, Plates 185–196. (Reeve: London.)

HARVEY, W.H. (1863). Phycologia Australica. Vol. 5, Plates 241–300, synop., pp. i-lxxiii. (Reeve: London.)

HOOKER, J.D. & HARVEY, W.H. (1847). Algae Tasmanicae. Lond. J. Bot. 6, 397–417.

HUISMAN, J.M. & WALKER, D.I. (1990). A catalogue of the marine plants of Rottnest Island, Western Australia, with notes on their distribution and biogeography. Kingia 1, 349–459.

HUISMAN, J.M. (1997). Marine Benthic Algae of the Houtman Abrolhos Islands, Western Australia. In Wells, F.E. (Ed.) The Marine Flora and Fauna of the Houtman Abrolhos Islands, Western Australia, pp. 177–237. (W. Aust. Museum: Perth.)

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.

KÜTZING, F.T. (1849). Species Algarum. (Leipzig.)

KENDRICK, G.A., WALKER, D.I. & McCOMB, A.J. (1988). Changes in the distribution of macro-algal epiphytes on stems of the seagrass Amphibolis antarctica along a salinity gradient in Shark Bay, Western Australia. Phycologia 27, 201–208.

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

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

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.

MILLAR, A.J.K. (1990). Marine red algae of the Coffs Harbour region, northern New South Wales. Aust. Syst. Bot. 3, 293–593.

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.G. (1845). Nova Algarum genera et species, quas in itinere ad oras occidentales Novae Hollandiae, collegit L. Preiss, Ph.Dr. Bot. Zeit. 3, 49–57.

SONDER, O.W. (1848). Algae. In Lehmann, C., Plantae Preissianae. Vol. 2, pp. 161–195. (Hamburg.)

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

TISDALL, H.T. (1898). The algae of Victoria. Rep. 7th Meet. Aust. Ass. Adv. Sci., Sydney, 1898, pp. 493–516.

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

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

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 5A, B, 6.

Figure 5 image

Figure 5   enlarge

Fig. 5. A, B. Wrangelia plumosa (A, AD, A63241; B, AD, A27894). A. Habit. B. Carposporophyte with carposporangia and intermixed sterile filaments. C, D. Wrangelia velutina (C, AD, A27325; D, AD, A27500). C. Habit. D. Carposporophyte with carposporangia and intermixed sterile filaments.

Figure 6 image

Figure 6   enlarge

Fig. 6. Wrangelia plumosa (AD, A27894). A. Apex of an indeterminate branch with developing whorl-branchlets. B. Female axis with developing carpogonial branches. C. Whorl-branchlet bearing spermatangial heads on basal cells. D. A modified whorl-branchlet bearing tetrasporangia. (All as in Gordon 1972, courtesy of Aust. J. Bot.)

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