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Bostrychia moritziana (Sonder ex Kützing)J. Agardh 1863: 862; 1897: 77.

Phylum Rhodophyta – Family Rhodomelaceae – Tribe Bostrychieae

Selected citations: Adams 1994: 310. Beanland & Woelkerling 1982: 97. Davey & Woelkerling 1980: 58. De Toni 1903: 1158. Kendrick et al. 1990: 52. King & Puttock 1989: 29, figs la, 13, 14. May 1965: 376. Millar & Kraft 1993: 50. Silva et al. 1996: 474. West & Zuccarello 1999: 115.


Polysiphonia? moritziana Sonder ex Kützing 1849: 838. J. Agardh 1863: 862.

Thallus (Fig. 158A) forming dense mats or turfs 1–3 cm high, brown-red to purple, with indeterminate main axes 2–4 (–6) cm long bearing determinate laterals 2–5 (–10) axial cells apart and 2–3 mm long. Attachment by cladohaptera (Fig. 158B) from indeterminate axes; epilithic or epiphytic on mangroves and salt marsh plants. Structure. Apices straight, apical cells dome-shaped and 20–25 µm in diameter (including thick walls), producing determinate laterals with monosiphonous branches mostly 20–50 cells long. Pericentral cells 4–5 (–6), each dividing into 2 tiers, ecorticate. Indeterminate axes 60–100 µm in diameter, axial cells 80–160 µm long; determinate laterals basally 35–60 µm in diameter, monosiphonous branches 25–40 µm in diameter, cells L/D (1–) 1.5–3. Cells uninucleate; rhodoplasts discoid.

Reproduction: Gametophytes dioecious. Procarps (Fig. 158C) borne on 3–6 consecutive axial cells of polysiphonous parts of determinate laterals, with 1 (–2) per axial cell; carpogonial branches (2–) 3 cells long, with a prefertilization group of 2–4 sterile cells and a group of 3–4 cells from an adjacent pericentral cell. Carposporophyte with a short branched gonimoblast and clavate terminal carposporangia 20–25 µm in diameter. Cystocarps (Fig. 158D) on determinate laterals, ovoid to subspherical or slightly urceolate, 500–550 µm in diameter; pericarp ostiolate, with 6 longitudinal filaments, 3 cells thick, outer cells irregular. Spermatangial organs involving 4–12 axial cells of determinate laterals, 30–50 µm in diameter and 100–200 µm long, with 5 pericentral cells, a layer of cortical cells, and an outer layer of spermatangia.

Stichidia (Fig. 158E) subapical or intercalary on determinate laterals, with polysiphonous stalks, 100–140 µm in diameter and 5–12 (–17) axial cells and 800–1200 µm long, with 4 pericentral cells and tetrasporangia per whorl (Fig. 158F); tetrasporangia 50–60 µm in diameter, with 2 cover cells.

Type material from Venezuela, St Lucia and French Guiana; lectotype from Cumana, Venezuela (Moritz 142), in MEL, 672271.

Selected specimens: Opposite Bird I., SW of Wallaroo, S. Aust., mid eulittoral on Avicennia pneumatophores (Womersley, 23.xi.1991; AD, A61507). Port Arthur, Gulf St Vincent, S. Aust., lower eulittoral on pneumatophores (Womersley, 9.xi.1980; AD, A51856). Port Clinton, S. Aust., lower eulittoral on pneumatophores (Womersley, 8.xi.1980; AD, A51854-"Marine Algae of southern Australia" No. 402). Garden I., S. Aust., lower eulittoral on hulks & mangroves (Brock, 26.x.1999; AD, A68392 and 8.ii.2000; AD, A69009). E side Westernport Bay, Vic., on mangrove pneumatophores (Womersley, 10.iv.1959; AD, A22592). Crawfish Rock, Westernport Bay, Vic., mid eulittoral (Womersley, 29.viii.1971; AD, A39447).

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

Distribution: Widely distributed in tropical and temperate seas.

In Australia from Western Australia around southern coasts and Tasmania to Queensland.

Taxonomic notes: B. moritziana occurs in calm, sheltered, localities, often under fresh-water influence. It is distinguished by the long, monosiphonous branches of the determinate laterals. Life cycles within the species have been analysed by West & Zuccarello (1999).


ADAMS, N.M. (1994). Seaweeds of New Zealand. (Cant. Univ. Press: Christchurch.)

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

AGARDH, J.G. (1897). Analecta Algologica. Cont. IV. Acta Univ. lund. 33, 1–106, Plates 1, 2.

BEANLAND, W.R. & WOELKERLING, W.J. (1982). Studies on Australian mangrove algae: IT. Composition and geographical distribution of communities in Spencer Gulf, South Australia. Proc. R. Soc. Vict. 94, 89–106.

DAVEY, A. & WOELKERLING, W.J. (1980). Studies on Australian mangrove algae. I. Victorian communities: Composition and geographic distribution. Proc. R. Soc. Vict. 91, 53–66.

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

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

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

KING, R.J. & PUTTOCK, C.F. (1989). Morphology and taxonomy of Bostrychia and Stictosiphonia (Rhodomelaceae / Rhodophyta). Aust. Syst. Bot. 2, 1–73.

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.)

WEST, J.A. & ZUCCARELLO, G.C. (1999). Biogeography of sexual and asexual populations in Bostrychia moritziana (Rhodomelaceae, Rhodophyta). Phycol. Res. 47, 115–123.

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. 158.

Figure 158 image

Figure 158   enlarge

Fig. 158. Bostrychia moritziana (A, F, AD, A51854; B–D, AD, A22592; E, AD, A68392). A. Habit. B. Prostrate axis with cladohaptera. C. Upper branches with procarps. D. Cystocarp. E. Indeterminate axis bearing monosiphonous determinate laterals with stichidia. F. Stichidium with whorls of 4 tetrasporangia.

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