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Electronic Flora of South Australia Species Fact Sheet

Acrosorium ciliolatum (Harvey) Kylin 1924: 78.

Phylum Rhodophyta – Family Delesseriaceae

Selected citations: May 1965: 403.


Nitophyllum ciliolatum Harvey 1855a: 549; 1863, synop.: xxxii. J. Agardh 1876: 466; 1898: 66. De Toni 1900: 651; 1924: 326. Lucas 1909: 35; 1926: 602, pl. 42 fig. 3. Sonder 1880: 23.

Aglaophyllum ciliolatum (Harvey) Kützing 1869: 3, pl. 7a, b.

Acrosorium venulosum (Zanardini) Kylin 1924: 77, fig. 60; 1956: 447, fig. 358A, B. Adams 1994: 286. Kylin 1924: 77, fig. 60. Maggs & Hommersand 1993: 255, fig. 80. Millar 1990: 415, fig. 51D. Millar & Kraft 1993: 45. Silva et al. 1996: 446. Wynne 1989b: 249, figs 11–18; 1996: 178.

Nitophyllum venulosum Zanardini 1866: 143, pl. XLIX.

Nitophyllum uncinatum (Turner)J.Agardh 1852: 654; 1876: 465; 1898: 65. Guiler 1952: 102. Harvey 1863, synop.: xxxii. King et al. 1971: 123. Lewis 1983: 262. Lucas 1926: 602, pl. 42 figs 1, 2. Lucas & Perrin 1947: 223. Sonder 1880: 23. Tisdall 1898: 509. Wilson 1892: 175.

Acrosorium uncinatum (J. Agardh) Kylin 1924: 78, fig. 61; 1929: 10. Cribb 1983: 96, pl. 29 figs 2–4. Kuehne 1946: 31, figs 1–7, 10, 12, 20. Lewis 1983: 262. May 1965: 403. May et al. 1978: 97. Shepherd & Womersley 1970: 135; 1971: 166; 1981: 366. Womersley 1966: 152.

Thallus (Fig. 61A) more-or-less erect from a prostrate base, light to medium red, 3–6 (–10) cm high, often clumped, branched more-or-less complanately with irregularly alternate branches of relatively uniform width but varying in different plants from 1–2 mm broad to 2–5 mm broad; usually with few to numerous uncinate branch ends (Fig. 61B, C) with recurved tips; axils rounded, apices rounded to acute, margins entire to irregularly and usually sparsely ciliate with short projections which may also arise from the surface of branches; veins (Fig. 61D) slender, branched and sometimes interconnected, mostly one cell broad. Attachment by rhizoidal pads, sessile or shortly stalked; epiphytic on Posidonia and various algae, probably also epilithic. Structure. Growth by marginal meristems with cells dividing by 2 faces, followed by irregular intercalary divisions. Blades monostromatic, 60–100 µm thick, cells in surface view irregularly angular, 25–40 µm across and L/D 1–2, marginal cells isodiametric and 6–12 µm across. Veins tristromatic, cells 10–25 µm broad and L/D (2–) 3–6 in surface view. Marginal "cilia" formed by clumps of elongate cells. Uncinate curved branch ends (Fig. 61C) with a band of elongate cells on the thicker inner concave side and squatter outer cells where blade monostromatic. Cells uni- to multinucleate; rhodoplasts discoid to elongate.

Reproduction: Gametophytes dioecious. Procarps scattered. Carposporophytes (Fig. 61 G) with a basal, erect, fusion cell and much branched gonimoblast with ovoid to shortly clavate terminal carposporangia, 30–40 in diameter, probably replaced from below. Cystocarps (Fig. 61E, F) usually one per branch, 0.5–1 mm across, hemispherical with a thickened collar; pericarp ostiolate, 100–140 µm and 3–5 cells thick, cells somewhat irregular in section. Spermatangial sori usually single near branch apices.

Tetrasporangial sori (Fig. 62A) single, usually near branch apices and covering most of the branch width, ovate, 0.5–2 mm across and 160–200 µm thick, with tetrasporangia in 2 layers of mixed ages (Fig. 62B), cut off from inner cortical cells and covered by outer cortical cells, subspherical, 40–70 µm in diameter.

Type from King George Sound, W. Aust.; lectotype in Herb. Harvey, TCD (Alg. Aust. Exsicc. 297B).

Selected specimens: Coffin Bay, S. Aust., 1–2 m deep (P. Womersley, 1.xii.1975; AD, A46795). N Spencer Gulf, S. Aust., 15 m deep (Shepherd, 7.ix.1973; AD, A44296). Wedge I., S. Aust., 5 m deep (Edyvane, 24.x.1993; AD, A65554). 4 km N of St Kilda, S. Aust., 1 m deep (Steffensen, 11.ix.1975; AD, A46528). Oedipus Point, West I., S. Aust., on Gelidium australe, 16 m deep (Shepherd, Dec. 1966; AD, A31152). Cape du Couedic, Kangaroo I., S. Aust., on Pterocladia capillacea, shaded pool (Womersley, 16.i.1965; AD, A28966). Muston, American R. inlet, Kangaroo I., S. Aust., 2–3 m deep (Womersley, 21.xi.1968; AD, A32136) and (Kraft, Johnson & Wickes, 16.iv.1973; AD, A43751). 1.3 km off Cape Northumberland, S. Aust., 15 m deep (Shepherd, 26.x.1977; AD, A55273). Nora Creina, S. Aust., on Posidonia australis, 1–2 m deep (Owen, 3.ix.1971; AD, A39581). Lady Julia Percy I., Vic., on Plocamium angustum, 8–10 m deep (Shepherd, 5.i.1968; AD, A32364). Lawrence Rock, Portland, Vic., on Metagoniolithon radiatum, 10–16 m deep (Baldock, 22.ix.1998; AD, A67898). Off Williamstown, Port Phillip, Vic., 5 m deep (Macpherson, 15.i.1961; AD, A28928). Crawfish Rock, Westernport Bay, Vic., 6–10 m deep (Watson, 15.ix.1968; AD, A32831). Gabo I., Vic., 24 m deep (Shepherd, 14.ii.1973; AD, A43313). Sarah I., Bathurst Ch., SW Tas., 2–5 m deep (Edgar 5, 11.iii.1995; AD, A64244). Sisters Rocks, Forestier Pen., Tas., on Haliptilon roseum, 25–30 m deep (Gowlett-Holmes, 15.x.1994; AD, A64016). Lady Bay, Southport, Tas, 7 m deep (Brown & Kenchington, 14.x.1986; AD, A57689). Fluted Cape, Bruny I., Tas., on Gracilaria ?, 16 m deep (Shepherd, 10.ii.1972; AD, A41579).

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

Distribution: Widespread in most oceans.

In southern Australia, from King George Sound, W. Aust., around Tasmania and to Queensland. Probably further west in W. Australia.

Taxonomic notes: The type of Acrosorium ciliolatum has numerous short, slender, "cilia" on the margins and surface; these are particularly prevalent in the type but often occur on the margins or surfaces of other specimens (e.g. AD, A32138). As Kylin (1929, p. 13) considered, A. ciliolatum is not specifically distinct from A. venulosum, and is the earliest name for this Acrosorium.

Most descriptions under Acrosorium venulosum or A. uncinatum state "gametophytes unknown". However, a few southern Australian collections (e.g. AD, A31152) with typical uncinate branches and agreeing well with this species, do bear cystocarps, and the above description of female stages is based on these.

Acrosorium ciliolatum occurs mainly in sheltered situations in calm waters, or deeper water on rough-water coasts. It is often similar in habit to Hymenena multipartita, but characterised by more irregular branching, uncinate branch ends, large subterminal tetrasporangial sori, and largely monostromatic thalli.


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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 systematis Floridearum, pp. i-vii, 1–724. (Weigel: Leipzig.)

AGARDH, J.G. (1898). Species Genera et Ordines Algarum. Vol. 3, Part 3 - De dispositione Delesseriearum. (Gleerup: Lund.)

CRIBB, A.B. (1983). Marine algae of the southern Great Barrier Reef—Part I. Rhodophyta. (Aust. Coral Reef Soc., Handbook 2: Brisbane.)

DE TONI, G.B. (1900). Sylloge Algarum omnium hucusque Cognitarum. Vol. 4. Florideae. Sect. 2. pp. 387–776. (Padua.)

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

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

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.)

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KYLIN, H. (1929). Die Delesseriaceen Neu-seelands. Lunds Univ. Årsskr. N.F. Avd. 2, 25(2), 1–15, Plates 1–12.

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WYNNE, M.J. (1989b). Towards the resolution of taxonomic and nomenclatural problems concerning the typification of Acrosorium uncinatum (Delesseriaceae: Rhodophyta). Br. Phycol. J. 24, 245–252.

WYNNE, M.J. (1996). A revised key to genera of the red algal family Delesseriaceae. Nova Hedwigia 112, 171–190.

ZANARDINI, G. (1866). Scelta di Ficee nuove o piu rare dei marl Mediterraneo ad Adriatico. (Decade VII). Mem. Reale 1st. Veneto Sci., Lett. ed Arti 13, 141–176. Plates XLIX-LVI.

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

Author: H. B. S. Womersley

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.

Illustrations in Womersley Part IIIA, 2003: FIGS 61, 62A, B.

Figure 61 image

Figure 61   enlarge

Fig. 61. Acrosorium ciliolatum (A, AD, A32136; B–G, AD, A31152). A. Habit. B. Branches with recurved branch ends and cystocarps. C. Recurved branch tip. D. Branch surface with microscopic veins. E. Branch with basal cystocarp. F. Cross section of a cystocarp. G. Section of a cystocarp, carposporophyte with basal, erect, fusion cell and gonimoblast with terminal carposporangia.

Figure 62 image

Figure 62   enlarge

Fig. 62. A, B. Acrosorium ciliolatum (A, B, AD, A31152). A. A tetrasporangial sorus. B. Transverse section of tetrasporangial sorus. C–F. Hymenena curdieana (C, D, F, AD, A68087; E. AD, A68125). C. Habit. D. Apex of branch. E. Surface view of frond with broad veins. F. Broad veins and procarps.

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