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Chamaethamnion schizandra Falkenberg in Schmitz & Falkenberg 1897: 449.

Phylum Rhodophyta – Family Rhodomelaceae – Tribe Uncertain

Selected citations: De Toni 1903: 1007. Falkenberg 1901: 579, pl. 14 figs 9–17. Kylin 1956: 518. Lucas 1909: 43. May 1965: 379. Papenfuss 1968: 269. Silva et al. 1996: 479.

Thallus (Fig. 225A, B, E) epiphytic (parasitic?) on Polysiphonia decipiens and Micropeuce feredayae, forming small, pale, subspherical thalli 1–3 mm across on the host branches. Attachment obscure, by rhizoids penetrating through the host cortex. Structure. Base of thallus pseudoparenchymatous, producing erect terete branches (Fig. 225A, D, E) 1–2 mm long and 60–120 µm in diameter, simple or occasionally branched apart from the trichoblasts. Apical cells dome-like, 8–10 µm in diameter, axial cells producing trichoblasts and 5 pericentral cells each 8–16 µm in diameter and LID 2–4, ecorticate, segments L/D 0.4–0.8 (–1). Trichoblasts 200–400 µm long, branched, basal cells isodiametric and 30–40 µm in diameter, upper cells elongate and 6–8 µm in diameter. Cells uninucleate; rhodoplasts absent from most cells, occasionally present and elongate to ribbon-like.

Reproduction: Gametophytes dioecious. Procarps borne on a lower cell of trichoblasts, with a 4-celled carpogonial branch and a sterile branch, surrounded by a pre-fertilization pericarp. Carposporophyte (Fig. 225C) with a slight basal fusion cell and short, branched gonimoblast with elongate-clavate carposporangia 20–30 µm in diameter. Cystocarps (Fig. 225B, C) ovoid, 400–700 1 µm in diameter; pericarp ostiolate, 2 (–3) cells thick, ecorticate apart from odd small cells, main outer cells isodiametric to laterally elongate, 20–25 µm across. Spermatangial organs (Fig. 225D) replacing trichoblasts, elongate-ovoid to lanceoid, 100–180 µm long and 50–80 µm in diameter, with 1–2 sterile basal cells but no sterile apical cell, and with 4–6 axial cells each with probably 3 pericentral cells cutting off outer spermatangia.

Stichidia (Fig. 225E, F) simple or occasionally branched, transformed from vegetative branches, terete, 0.5–1 mm long and 120–180 µm in diameter, bearing trichoblasts. Tetrasporangia opposite (Fig. 225F) in each segment, decussately arranged, 40–75 µm in diameter, with 2 cover cells.

Type from Australia. Falkenberg also gave South Africa in the protologue but not in 1901, and Papenfuss (1968, p. 269) excluded this locality. The precise type locality is unknown. Presumably the type is in Herb. Falkenberg, Naples.

Selected specimens: Grange, S. Aust., on Micropeuce on tyre reef, 20 m deep (Branden, 7.iii.1985; AD, A56426). Brighton, S. Aust., on M. feredayae, drift (Bienert, 12.xi.1965; AD, A29669).

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

Distribution: The E coast of Gulf St Vincent, S. Australia.

Taxonomic notes: The above description is based on these two collections, which appear to agree well with Falkenberg's (1901) illustrations of what appears to be a rare species.


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.)

KYLIN, H. (1956). Die Gattungen der Rhodophyceen. (Gleerups: Lund.)

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.

PAPENFUSS, G.F. (1968). Notes on South African Marine Algae: V. J. S. Afr. Bot. 34, 267–287.

SCHMITZ, F. & FALKENBERG, P. (1897). Rhodomelaceae. In Engler, A. & Prantl, K., Die natürlichen Pflanzenfamilien. T.1. Abt. 2, pp. 421–480. (Englemann: Leipzig.)

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

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. 225.

Figure 225 image

Figure 225   enlarge

Fig. 225. Chamaethamnion schizandra (A–D, AD, A56426; E, F, AD, A29669). A. Branch with procarps and juvenile cystocarps. B. Branch with cystocarps. C. Cystocarp and carposporophyte. D. Branches with spermatangial organs. E. Thallus with basal cushion and erect tetrasporangial branches. F. Branch with opposite tetrasporangia.

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