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Electronic Flora of South Australia Species Fact Sheet

Acanthophora dendroides Harvey 1855a: 538; 1863, synop.: xvii.

Phylum Rhodophyta – Family Rhodomelaceae – Tribe Chondrieae

Selected citations: J. Agardh 1863: 818. de Jong et al. 1999: 225, figs 9–14, 43. De Toni 1903: 820; 1924: 380. Huisman 1997: 203; 2000: 154. Huisman & Walker 1990: 431. Huisman et al. 1990: 97. Kendrick et al. 1990: 52. Kraft 1979: 124, 126, 128, fig. 7. Lewis 1984: 49. Lucas 1909: 39. Lucas & Perrin 1947: 254. May 1965: 384. Millar & Kraft 1993: 49. Silva et al. 1996: 468. Sonder 1880: 33.

Thallus (Fig. 177A) dark brown-red, 5–12 cm high, much branched irregularly radially for 3–4 orders, branches terete, main axes 1–1.5 mm in diameter, lesser branches 400–600 µm in diameter, all branches bearing short spines (Fig. 177B) irregularly spirally. Holdfast discoid, with spreading stolons; probably epilithic. Structure. Apices of branches rounded and depressed, with trichoblasts within the depressions. Pericentral cells 5, remaining clear in older branches and becoming thick-walled, with a compact cortex grading to an outer layer of longitudinally elongate cells; small cells and rhizoids developing around the axial cells and pericentral (and inner cortical) cells. Spines multicellular, 200–400 µm long, bases 100–300 µm broad.

Reproduction: Gametophyte plants not described from Australia. de Jong et al. (1999, p. 225) describe cystocarps as globose and sessile, and spermatangial plates as discoid, margins with large oblong cells.

Tetrasporangial stichidia (Fig. 177B) formed from smaller lateral branches, 1–2 mm long and 300–500 µm in diameter, usually bearing spines; tetrasporangia cut off from pericentral cells, several per whorl, (50–) 80–110 µm in diameter.

Type from Rottnest I., W. Aust. (Harvey); holotype in Herb. Harvey, TCD (Trav. Set 224).

Selected specimens: Denial Bay, S. Aust., upper sublittoral (Womersley, 23.i.1951; AD, A13658).

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

Distribution: Western Australia, N.S.W. and Queensland; in southern Australia, only known from Denial Bay, S. Australia.

Widespread around the Indian Ocean (see de Jong et al. 1999, fig. 43, which omits the type locality).

Taxonomic notes: This species needs detailed study of its structure and reproduction, and search for further records from southern Australian coasts. De Jong et al. (1999, p. 223) key A. dendroides as having basally constricted determinate branches. Australian plants (including West Australian and an isotype specimen) do not show constricted laterals and they are scarcely "determinate".


AGARDH, J.G. (1863). Species Genera et Ordines Algarum. Vol. 2, Part 3, pp. 787–1291. (Gleerup: Lund.)

DE JONG, Y.S.D.M., HITIPEUW, C. & PRUD'HOMME VAN REINE, W.F. (1999). A taxonomic, phylogenetic and biogeographic study of the genus Acanthophora (Rhodomelaceae, Rhodophyta). Blumea 44, 217–249.

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

DE TONI, G.B. (1924). Sylloge Algarum omnium hucusque Cognitarum. Vol. 6. Florideae. (Padua.)

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

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. (2000). Marine Plants of Australia. (Univ. W. Aust. Press, Nedlands, W. Aust. & ABRS, Canberra, A.C.T.)

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.

KRAFT, G.T. (1979). Transfer of the Hawaiian red alga Cladhymenia pacifica to the genus Acanthophora (Rhodomelaceae, Ceramiales). Jap. J. Phycol. 27, 123–135.

LEWIS, J.A. (1984). Checklist and bibliography of benthic marine macroalgae recorded from northern Australia. I. Rhodophyta. Dept. Defence, Materials Res. Lab., Melbourne, Vic. Report MRL-R-912.

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.

MAY, V. (1965). A census and key to the species of Rhodophyceae (red algae) recorded from Australia. Contr. N.S. W. Natl Herb. 3, 349–429.

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.

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

SONDER, O.W. (1880). In Mueller, F., Fragmenta Phytographiae Australiae. Supplementum ad volumen undecinum: Algae Australianae hactenus cognitae, pp. 1–42, 105–107. (Melbourne.)

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

Publication: Womersley, H.B.S. (24 February, 2003)
The Marine Benthic Flora of Southern Australia
Rhodophyta. Part IIID. Ceramiales – Delesseriaceae, Sarcomeniaceae, Rhodomelaceae
Reproduced with permission from The Marine Benthic Flora of Southern Australia Part IIID 2003, by H.B.S. Womersley. Australian Biological Resources Study, Canberra. Copyright Commonwealth of Australia.

Illustration in Womersley Part IIIA, 2003: FIG. 177A, B.

Figure 177 image

Figure 177   enlarge

Fig. 177. A, B. Acanthophora dendroides (AD, A13658). A. Habit. B. Branch with short spines, and tetrasporangia. C, D. Coeloclonium tasmanicum (C, AD, A59189; D, AD, A53760). C. Habit. D. Axial filament with laterally elongate pericentral cells.

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