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Electronic Flora of South Australia Species Fact Sheet

Amansia pinnatifida Harvey 1862a: pl. 222; 1863, synop.: xv.

Phylum Rhodophyta – Family Rhodomelaceae – Tribe Amansieae

Selected citations: J. Agardh 1863: 1114; 1885: 109; 1892: 172. De Toni 1903: 1090. Falkenberg 1901: 419. Lucas 1909: 45; 1929b: 51. Lucas & Perrin 1947: 296. May 1965: 396. Reinbold 1897: 55. Shepherd & Womersley 1971: 166. Tate 1882a: 22. Womersley 1950: 189.


Melanamansia pinnatifida (Harvey) Norris 1988a: 222. Silva et al. 1996: 527.

Thallus (Fig. 170B) medium to dark red-brown, 10–40 cm high, much branched alternately marginally and complanately with flat, linear, branches (1.5–) 2–3 mm broad, slightly constricted basally and with ventrally circinnate apices (Fig. 170D), margins entire, midrib clear on dorsal side, the cells in surface view in transverse tiers (Fig. 170C) with the ends of the 2 layers overlapping alternately, ecorticate. The ventral surface of branches invariably bears an almost complete cover of the bryozoan Bathypora nitens (Rinks). Lower axes denuded of most laterals, 2–4 mm broad, the midrib secondarily thickened. Holdfast discoid-conical, 2–20 mm across; epilithic. Structure. Apex circinnate, apical cell hemispherical, 12–18 µm in diameter, axial cells cutting off 5 pericentral cells, 2 lateral on each side and 1 ventral, with the dorsal-lateral cells each cutting off a pseudopericentral cell (Fig. 170E) and the lateral cells dividing rapidly to produce the 2 cell-thick wings with mature cells 35–50 µm in diameter and L/D 5–6, ends dovetailing. The midrib develops secondary thickening first ventrally, spreading laterally and later also dorsally. Trichoblasts not observed. Cells multinucleate; rhodoplasts discoid, chained in larger cells.

Reproduction: Gametophytes dioecious. Reproductive organs borne on short, spinous, marginal shoots. Procarps on reduced trichoblasts on these shoots, soon polysiphonous and pericarpic (Fig. 170F). Carposporophytes with a basal fusion cell and much branched gonimoblast with clavate terminal carposporangia 30–50 µm in diameter. Cystocarps (Fig. 170G) on margins, with a short, thick, stalk, globose to ovoid, 500–1200 µm in diameter; pericarp ostiolate, 4–6 cells thick. Spermatangial organs (Fig. 170H) clustered on short, branched, marginal laterals, with a basal sterile cell, ovoid, 90–180 µm in diameter.

Tetrasporangial stichidia (1–5) (Fig. 170I) on short marginal spinous branchlets, curved to circinnate, compressed, corticated, 0.5–1.5 mm long and 150–300 µm broad, with 2 rows of paired tetrasporangia 70–110 µm in diameter.

Type from King George Sound, W. Aust. (Harvey); lectotype (Harvey, Alg. Aust. Exsicc. 119B) in Herb. Harvey TCD.

Selected specimens: Eucla, W. Aust., drift (Womersley, 2.ii.1954; AD, A19356). Nuyts Reef, S. Aust., 9–10 m deep (Shepherd, 26.iii.1980; AD, A52211). Pearson I., S. Aust., 15 m deep (Shepherd, 8.i.1969; AD, A33933). Snapper Point, Port Lincoln, S. Aust., 6–8 m deep (Shepherd, 1.i.1964; AD, A27087). Outside Tapley Shoal, Gulf St Vincent, S. Aust., 15 m deep (Shepherd, 2.ii.1969; AD, A33534). Investigator Str., S. Aust., 24 m deep (Watson, 9.i.1971; AD, A38449). Victor Harbor, S. Aust., 10 m deep (Clarke & Engler, 17.x.1979; AD, A63180). Cable Hut Reef, Penneshaw, Kangaroo I., S. Aust., 22 m deep (Lavers, 1.ii.2000; AD, A68837). Ironstone Point, Kangaroo I., S. Aust., 14 m deep (Lavers, 11.xii.1999; AD, A68881). Vivonne Bay, Kangaroo I., S. Aust., drift (Womersley, 29.xii.1999; AD, A68457). Pennington Bay, Kangaroo I., S. Aust., drift (Womersley, 22.i.1946; AD, A2937) and 0.5 m deep in channel (Kraft, 4.xii.1971; MELU, K4051 and AD, A69223). Cape Jaffa, S. Aust., drift (Womersley, 25.xi.1992; AD, A61792). Robe, S. Aust. (Macklin, Jan. 1926; AD, A1373).

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

Distribution: King George Sound, W. Aust., to Robe, S. Australia.

Taxonomic notes: Amansia pinnatifida is a deep water alga of distinctive habit.


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

AGARDH, J.G. (1885). Till algernes systematik. VII. Florideae. Acta Univ. lund. 21, 1–120, Plate 1.

AGARDH, J.G. (1892). Analecta Algologica. Acta Univ. lund. 28, 1–182, Plates 1–3.

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

FALKENBERG, P. (1901). Die Rhodomelaceen des Golfes von Neapel und der angrenzenden Meeres-abschnitte. Fauna und Flora des Golfes von Neapel. Monogr. 26. (Friedländer: Berlin.)

HARVEY, W.H. (1862a). Phycologia Australica. Vol. 4, Plates 181–240. (Reeve: London.)

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

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. Natl Herb. 3, 349–429.

NORRIS, R.E. (1988a). Structure and reproduction of Amansia and Melanamansia gen. nov. (Rhodophyta, Rhodomelaceae) on the southeastern African coast. J. Phycol. 24, 209–223.

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

SHEPHERD, S.A. & WOMERSLEY, H.B.S. (1971). Pearson Island Expedition 1969.-7. The subtidal ecology of benthic algae. Trans. R. Soc. S. Aust. 95(3), 155–167.

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

TATE, R. (1882a). 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. (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 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. 170 B–I.

Figure 170 image

Figure 170   enlarge

Fig. 170. A. Amansia multifida (Rocas, Santo Domingo; C I BIMA 7634, AD, A49316). Transverse section of blade showing 2 pseudopericentral cells (arrows) from the dorsal pericentral cells. B–I. Amansia pinnatifida (B, AD, A61792; C, D, F, H, AD, A68837; E, AD, A68457; I, AD, A68881). B. Habit. C. Surface pattern of transverse tiers of cells. D. Section of circinate apex. E. Transverse section of axial and pericentral cells, with 2 dorsal pseudopericentral cells (arrows). F. Procarps of various ages. G. Section of cystocarp. H. Spermatangial organs. I. Stichidia.

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